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Warning: Admission Officers are Looking for You on Facebook

Admissions officers are searching for you on Facebook.

Kathryn Knight Randolph

March 01, 2011

Warning: Admission Officers are Looking for You on Facebook
For a few years now, the saying that admissions officers were looking at prospective students’ Facebook profiles was merely an urban legend. But now, a new study claims that this so-called rumor is actually a reality. And it’s more common than you would think. The study, distributed by Kaplan, revealed that 82% of admissions officers have at one point looked for a prospective student on Facebook, according to TIME. Whether admission officers are using Facebook predominantly to engage students in the admissions process or as a platform of judgment in the final decision remains unknown. However, one admission officer from Harvard went so far as to admit on a Quora thread that an applicant’s Facebook profile or website makes her “absolutely” prejudice during the admissions process, which was reported by The Huffington Post.

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The moral of this story? If you’re using your Facebook account for inside jokes and ridiculous photos, consider placing it under a strict privacy setting until you get into your dream school. Or simply make your Facebook account an advocate for your admission. Brag about your volunteer experiences and extracurricular activities. Include a photo of the most recent visit to your first-choice college as your profile picture.

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The same survey depicted that admission officers seeking prospective students on Facebook wasn’t one-sided. It also found that “80% of college admissions officers or a colleague in their admissions office had received a Facebook friend request from at least one applicant – an increase from 71% in our 2009 survey,” according to This data shows that some students aren’t going to great lengths to keep their everyday life private from admissions offices. Rather, it suggests that students are perfectly willing to open up their online presence and possibly allow it to determine a final admission decision on their behalf.

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