In my 2016 year end blog, I’ll discuss three of the questions that I’ve been asked the most this year. The first, from students, is whether colleges will look at their social media pages when evaluating their applications.

 

We know that colleges use social media, including video campus tours, chat rooms, Face Book and tweets to attract candidates. However, it doesn’t seem that most colleges devote time to inspecting applicants’ social media pages. According to a recent Kaplan Test Prep study that was based on a small group of admissions officers, only about 25% viewed applicants’ social media pages, and then very rarely, only if, for example, the student was applying for selective programs or scholarships or had been reported to have engaged in illegal or inappropriate behavior.

 

The takeaway? Most admissions offices are too busy to review anything more than your application and supplemental materials that they have requested. But it makes sense to take precautions when you’re applying to college (or for a job or an internship). Clean up any posts containing off-color pictures or comments, and review and edit your public profile to make sure that it presents a favorable picture of you.