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Faceboook and College Admissions

Facebook postingA study by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth found that 25 percent of college admissions offices admit to using search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN to research potential students and that 20 percent look for the same information on social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace. The reality is that the percentages must be even higher because colleges and universities have little incentive to overstate their reliance on these digital dirt web searches, but they have a significant incentive to understate their use due to a fear of negative public relations and likely backlash from many Gen Y candidates who view information that they post to MySpace and some of the other social networking sites as somehow being private even though it is accessible through a quick Google search.

The moral of the story is never post anything on the web that you wouldn’t want your parents or a college admissions representative to read.  Don’t post profanity or scandalous photos, and don’t join groups with unseemly names or that have agendas that do not reflect your own just because a friend invited you. Likewise, you may have to delete wall posts with confusing or unflattering inside jokes. On the flip side, if you do have writing talents, or are knowledgeable in a particular area and want to launch your own website do so and when you are “googled” that’s what will come up.  We have worked with students who have created websites on their particular expertise and have followed the footprints of visitors and seen that admissions officers did visit the sites.

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