Who Is Looking at Social Networking Sites?

Photo credit: Jessica Small

Photo credit: Jessica Small

Stephanie Courtois, Editor in Chief

Colleges look at Facebook profiles, but it is impossible for every admissions officer to comb through each page. There is not enough time or means to sort through an applicant’s images and comments to determine their character.

There are over 2,000 universities in the United States. On average, a school can receive about 20,000 plus applications. That is an overwhelming number for the admissions officer to applicant ratio. Social networking sites serve as an aide in sorting through the type of students they want to have on their campus.

“I think that it is reasonable to have colleges look through Facebook pages; it enables them to tell how a person really acts rather than just what they have on their application and helps them determine if that is the type of person they want at their school,” Christina Garcia, senior, said.

A new survey of 500 leading universities discovered that 10% of admissions officers acknowledged looking at social networking sites to evaluate applicants. Of those colleges making use of the online information, 38% said that what they observed “negatively affected” their views of the applicant. According to the survey by education company Kaplan, only a quarter of the schools checking the websites said their outlooks were improved.

“I think it is an intrusion of privacy,” Matthew Cisek, senior, said. “Students shouldn’t have to worry about their profile as long as it is set to private because admissions officers won’t be able to see anything that they write anyways.”

Delete anything that can be misinterpreted by an admissions officer. Posts that coincide with underage drinking, the use of illegal substances or reckless behavior should be removed as soon as possible.

Not only may colleges browse through one’s social networking page, but future employers may. Today’s economy is unstable especially the job market, so employers are very selective about the employees that they hire. To be on the safe side, keeping an appropriate profile page is one more plus that an applicant will have on their part.