Friday, October 19, 2012

College admissions officers do look at students' online behavior, report that students get hurt by their online reputations

A college newspaper, the Hoya, for Georgetown University in Washington DC, in an article Oct. 16 by Ted Murphy, reports that now (according to Kaplan Test Prep) 27% of admissions officers say they look at an applicant’s Facebook and other social media or online behavior (such as Google or Bing searches) before making decisions on admission.  What is disturbing is that more of them admit to reporting getting adverse impressions from applicants’ social media.

Again, I’ve been concerned that social media can become a tool for promoting social conformity.

And some admissions officers might identify the wrong people, or believe misleading information posted or tagged by others. 
It’s not clear what happens with a student who has little or no social media presence.  Even today, some teens or high school students (as in church congregations) tell me that they see no point in accumulating “friends” online and giving others the power to “reject” them.  Some say they would just rather operate in the “real world” in making friends, and feel that the pressure online is distracting.

On the other hand, attractive or gregarious students at large campuses often accumulate hundreds of Facebook friends, even while keeping most of their profiles visible only to friends. 

The Hoya story is here.

Pictures: today’s train ride, near Romney, W Va.  Some people who live near this Potomac Eagle line seem to live unplugged, off the grid.    

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