Social Media

Social Media Impacts College Admissions Officers' View of Students

Most people are aware by now that some college admissions officers check students’ social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) when vetting through applications. A new study from Kaplan of 365 college admissions officers at top national, regional and liberal arts colleges and universities around the country found that while the number of admissions officers who check social media has slightly decreased, more admit that what they find online impacts their view of students.

Of the admissions officers who were surveyed, 35 percent check social media to learn more about applicants (down from 40 percent last year). However, of those who check, 47 percent said that what they found had a positive impact on their perception of the student, up from 37 percent last year. One admissions officer, for example, said that a student had Tweeted that she facilitated an LGBTQ panel at her school. The student had not included this information on her application, but the admissions team was “more interested in her overall and encouraged us to imagine how she would help out the community,” according to a Kaplan blog post.

On the other hand, 47 percent of those who said they check social media felt that what they found negatively impacted the applicant’s chance, especially when they encountered bigotry or illegal activity. For example, one student mentioned on social media that they had committed a felony, but failed to disclose that information on the application. Another student had brandished weapons online, which deterred one admissions office.

For a brief overview of the study, watch the video below. To learn more, visit the Kaplan blog.