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Social Media & College Admissions Another Worry for Students

As college acceptances become more competitive, it is no surprise that high school students are taking extra precautions in ensuring a spot at their desired schools. Besides dealing with academics, extracurricular activities, and community service hours, students are now worried about how they appear on the Internet.

At Bowdoin College, admissions officers turned down a student not just because of her grades, but also because of rude comments found on her Twitter account. “We would have wondered about the judgment of someone who spends their time on their mobile phone and makes such awful remarks,” Scott A. Meiklejohn, the school’s dean of admissions, stated. Most colleges don’t have formal policies regarding researching students online; out of almost four hundred college admission officers, thirty-one percent admitted they visited an applicant’s social media page to learn more about them. While this number may seem low, it is a five percent increase from last year.

Although most admissions officers prohibit the use of students’ personal websites during the admissions process, students should still be aware of what they post online. High school guidance counselors are now giving students lessons in cleaning up their digital identities; at Brookline High School, students are taught to delete alcohol-related posts and to create acceptable email addresses. Some students are already practicing what they learn from these lessons by untagging themselves in pictures and even by deleting their social media accounts all together. As admissions officers become more technology-savvy, students should be more careful about what they post online if they want to play it safe when it comes to college acceptances.

This year, our Speak Up Surveys will ask questions related to a student’s digital footprint. 

An example question is:

Which of these statements reflect your thoughts about digital footprints (information that is available online about you from what you and others have posted)? (Check all that apply)

Speak Up Surveys are free, and schools and districts can receive access to their school and/or district’s data in February 2014. Results regarding a student population’s digital footprint will also be apart of that data. Surveys are open to anyone interested in having a voice on critical education and technology trends.

Go to www.speakup4schools.org/speakup2013 to take the survey today. Surveys open to students, parents, educators and community members!

Interested in participating in this year’s Speak Up surveys but want to learn more about it? Now’s your chance! Join Julie Evans CEO, Project Tomorrow for a 45 minute recorded webinar to learn about key Speak Up findings from last year – and how your school or district can participate in Speak Up this year.  View the recording via Blackboard Collaborate here: http://bit.ly/SUWebinarRecording.

Enjoy your day.

-The Project Tomorrow team

Written by: Lisa Chu UCI Fall Intern 2013