Social Media Can Affect College Applications
How you behave online can affect your chances of getting accepted in college, as applicants from Louisville, Kentucky find out. WDRB.com recently shares their story.
A Walking Resume
Dishan Romine, a senior at ManualHigh School, has sent applications to Cornell, Harvard, NavalAcademy, and WesternAcademy. As he waits anxiously for results, he has also been keeping tabs on how he behaves online. A friend once told him that he is “a walking resume” that represents his family and community, and that people would tend to judge based on what he says and posts on the Web — Facebook posts, tweets, pictures, and more.
Checking Applicants Out
Romine has good reason to be careful, especially since a study reveals that Facebook is used by 80% of college admission officers to check applicants out. This has led to the rejection of some applications, as well as the loss of financial aid opportunities. Amy Medley, the counselor at Manual High, also says that when an applicant “likes” a school’s Facebook page, the school can easily access anything that he or she posts on the network.
How to Behave Online
According to Jenny Sawyer, University of Louisville’s executive director of admissions, they are using Twitter and Facebook more today than they did last year. She adds that if an applicant posts something very negative online, this could affect their final decision on the application.
Thus, guidance counselors suggest that applicants use social media to their advantage. Instead of posting photos that could put them in a bad light, they should upload pictures of them doing community service or other admirable activities. In Romine’s case, his posts emphasize his being a great student athlete. He is still waiting for results.
Notably, this is the time of the year when admission officers have to decide on “borderline” cases for the fall semester. These are situations where students have scores or grades that just barely miss or make the criteria for admissions.
Many high schoolers rebel, but some others also just accept the fact that this is the 21st century game being played by school admissions. According to Maxton Thoman, a University of Alabama freshman, this method may be a bit unfair, given that you are being judged for what you have done in the last four years.
Thoman has improved his privacy settings during the process of college admission, including untagging himself from unpleasant photos. Now that he is in college, he still closely monitors his digital profile, knowing that potential companies he wants to work for may take a look.