Now Facebook plays part in college admissions too

Four out of five college admissions officers use Facebook to recruit students, says a survey.

Last Updated: Feb 27, 2011, 18:25 PM IST

Houston: Perfect score is not the only
criteria for getting admission into a reputed college now, but
off late Facebook too has become an important selection tool.

Four out of five college admissions officers use Facebook
to recruit students, according to last year`s survey by Kaplan
Test Prep.

"We found that 82 per cent of admissions officers
reported that their school is using Facebook to recruit
students," Russell Schaffer, Kaplan`s Senior Communication
Manager, told All Facebook.

The website Student Advisor reports at least one case of
an applicant being rejected because of something in his or her
social media profile.

And one interviewer has said she is "absolutely"
prejudiced by what she sees online about candidates.

"I think it`s always better to be safe than sorry,"
Allison Otis, who conducts interviews for Harvard College,
posted in a thread on the website Quora.

"When you apply to college you spend such a long time
crafting an image through your applications and essays that to
be careless about your online data is just silly".

Otis said she regularly searches Google for students`
names and looks through their Facebook and Twitter profiles.

The content of a prospective student`s Facebook profile
is fast becoming more important than their grades,
extracurricular activities, or teacher recommendations, but
it’s not that huge of a surprise that the social network is
playing a role in the admission process.

After all, if recruiters check Facebook when hiring
future employees, there`s really no reason why schools can`t
do the same for students.
Sometimes your online profile can be the tiebreaker.

It`s also important to note that the high number likely
also includes college representatives finding interesting
students online and encouraging them to apply to their school.

If you`re a student, there are two ways to take advantage
of this information.

On the one hand, you can try to make your Facebook
profile as exemplary as possible.
This is quite difficult given that you have to stay on
top of what your Facebook friends tag you in and so on.

The other option is to simply lock down your Facebook’s
privacy settings.

You should probably already be doing this regardless of
whether you are applying to a college, university, or new job.

Facebook is much more of a private social network than
competing services: if you don`t want anyone but your friends
to see your Facebook posts, then change your settings!.

A Facebook profile obviously doesn`t hold as much weight
as grades, test scores, extracurricular activities, teacher
recommendations and essays.

But when you`re looking at a tie between equally talented
students, social media content could be the tiebreaker.

Dean Tsouvalas, editor of StudentAdvisor, recommends in a
recent blog post that students use social media to their
advantage.

He suggests following the school`s Twitter feed or
"liking" its Facebook fan page.
Students also can post a video resume on YouTube or blog
about volunteering efforts or other extracurricular activities
and provide a link on their applications.

PTI