More Colleges Considering Applicants’ Online Lives

More college admissions officers are looking at more than resumes and Googling applicants. (J Pat Carter/AP)

More college admissions officers are looking at more than resumes and Googling applicants. (J Pat Carter/AP)

As high school seniors put the finishing touches on their college applications this month, they might want to focus on more than grammar or all of those extra-curricular activities.

You might want to take a closer look at your facebook page, or your twitter feed, your tumblr, instagram, flikr, pintrest, any and all of the myriad social media profiles popularly used by teens because according to a recent survey by Kaplan Test Prep, nearly one third of college admissions officers say they’ve visited an applicant’s social media site. That’s a 5 percent increase over the previous year. And about a third of those admissions officers say they found something that negatively affected the applicant’s prospects.

But social media presents a particularly thorny problem. First of all, it’s ubiquitous in teen culture. It is a part of their world and their language. Second, it’s also a place where savvy users can positively distinguish themselves, through social media campaigns for example.


Seppy Basili, vice president of Kaplan Test Prep. He is hosting a webinar this Wednesday to talk about the impact of social media on the college admissions process and tell students how to manage their digital footprint.

Lenny Libenzon, chair of the Brookline High School guidance department.

M.J. Knoll-Finn, vice president for Enrollment at Emerson College.


The New York Times As certain high school seniors work meticulously this month to finish their early applications to colleges, some may not realize that comments they casually make online could negatively affect their prospects.

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