Bad Online Behavior Jeopardizes Students’ College Plans
By Robin L. Flanigan
Stellar transcripts aside, students now have to worry about an increasing number of colleges peering at their social-networking pages online—and potentially denying their applications because of what they find there.
The number of college-admissions officials using Facebook and other social-networking sites to learn more about applicants quadrupled over the past year, according to New York City-based Kaplan Test Prep, the test preparation division of Kaplan Inc.
In the company’s 2011 survey of admissions officers from the top 500 colleges and universities, 24 percent said they have viewed publicly available pages to get a clearer picture of an applicant, while 20 percent turned to Google. Twelve percent reported that their discoveries, including photos showing underage drinking, vulgarities in blogs, and plagiarism in essays, negatively affected the chance of admission.