College admissions officers have the ability to check applicants’ social media accounts. It’s not a standard practice for Utah colleges, but it is becoming more and more common at schools across the country as well potential employers to be checking online footprints.
According to Deseret News, the phone survey of 381 admissions officers found that 29 percent of college admissions officers have Googled applicants and 31 percent have looked at applicants’ social networking pages.
About 75 percent of applicants would be either “not at all concerned” or “not too concerned” if an admissions officer did an online search of them according to an online survey done by Kaplan University students. Some say that students should be more concerned about online footprints than they are.
“I’ve heard about the practice but I wasn’t that worried because I don’t post anything I wouldn’t want my mother to see,” said Hannah Bishop, 18, who applied to colleges last fall. Bishop mentioned that she sees people posting things that she thinks could hurt their chances at opportunities. She also said one of her friends told her she didn’t get a job because the company discovered online photographs of her with alcohol at a party and decided to hire another candidate.
Even though it isn’t a standard procedure for colleges to base admittance from social media, and whatever else is online, it is very common for future employers to take into account what is out there. Students should be cautious in posting things that could hurt their chances for college admittance and future jobs.
Sari Rauscher, college counseling director at the Waterford School talks about how it is important for counselors to remind students to be careful about their online presence because future employers and future college or graduate school admissions staff may see it.
“It’s similar to them going into an interview and looking nice and having the right answers or having things on their resume to make them look good to colleges,” Rauscher said. “It’s a natural extension of what they have on their Facebook profiles and their social media profiles that would look good to colleges and employers. And some don’t consider that.”
Trent Hunsaker, social media marketing coordinator at USU quoted the movie “The Social Network” and said the Internet is written in ink — not pencil — and posts will stick with people for a long time.