This just in: 67% of admissions officers surveyed in 2015 said they had looked up college applicants on Facebook! And 40% didn’t like what they found.
The good news: When used appropriately, sharing on social media can be a pretty persuasive marketing tool. As the saying goes – sharing is caring,
The bad news? Oversharing is not caring. It can be dangerous (AND disqualifying).
Those of you who have been with us for awhile know that Jill and I have issued similar social media alerts in past years. But this year especially (see below), we urge anyone who has a college-bound teen in their home, to take the next 90 seconds to read and share the latest data from education technology firm Cornerstone Reputation’s Annual Survey of Admissions Officers.
The findings in the Cornerstone report corroborate what we’ve been saying. It is now abundantly clear that your child’s online footprint is increasingly considered inside Admissions committee rooms.
Here are a few highlights from the study:
- In 2015, 45% of the admissions officers surveyed performed online searches in the last admissions season, while only 36% performed searches in the admissions season previous to that.
- 40% got a bad impression (up 10% from the 2013-14 admissions season)
- 53% liked what they saw (opportunity)
- 81% of colleges surveyed had no ‘formal’ policies on using information garnered from online searches and similar for Admissions (yet another murky unknown for our kids to contend with)
So, as this Spring Break season comes to a close if you’re planning to apply to college someday… or to graduate school, or for a job for that matter, we suggest that you temper both your revelry and equally important, the sharing of your Spring Break revelry.
As we’ve repeatedly told our teenage kids (and my ‘enthusiastic’ mother-in-law), social media is NOT a personal diary. It is a digital footprint that can enhance or weaken how the world perceives you.
So, tell your kids to have fun and express themselves.. but be smart about it. Don’t say or do anything that you wouldn’t want the admissions committee, your potential boss or your parents (or in my case your son-in-law) to hear you say or see you do!
Here are 10 social media mistakes high school students should avoid…and keep in mind that social media circumstances vary by school, user and situation, so use your best judgement and think twice when you share something publicly.
P.S. You don’t have to take my word on this topic? Even the Shark Tank Folks have weighed in on this clip – It’s from this Saturday’s (March 27,2015) 20/20 report. It’s about Adam Smith, a former Chick Fil A Exec (now on food stamps) and it is THE BEST CAUTIONARY TALE I COULD FIND! And for further research, read: ‘They Loved Your GPA, Then They Saw Your Tweets’ by Natasha Singer.
P.P.S. Social media isn’t the only thing that’s changing the landscape of college today. It’s but one of many. It’s understandable if you’re feeling frustrated and overwhelmed by trying to keep up with it all. Stay tuned because we have a solution coming to help you.