Beware: your tweets could prevent you from getting into college

Posted on November 13th, 2013

You’ve heard the warnings before.

As much as we’d like to think our social media profiles are our own private broadcast forums and we can say what we want with no repercussions, it isn’t true in today’s world.

Unfortunately, when it comes to college admissions, it seems free speech doesn’t apply.

Student rejected after Twitter rant

If there’s ever been a time to start heeding your parents’ and teachers’ warnings, it’s now. A recent NY Times article shared the story of a high school senior who attended an information session for Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, and tweeted about the experience.

During the presentation, the student posted disparaging comments on Twitter about other people at the conference, repeatedly using a common expletive and mentioning Bowdoin College in the tweets. Because the college tracks its social media mentions, the admissions officers found out about what she had said and ultimately rejected her application.

The college claimed the student was denied admission because her academic record wasn’t competitive, but who really knows for sure? Admissions is a highly subjective process, and it may have been difficult to separate the candidate from her comments. Perhaps her academic record wasn’t stellar, but if her credentials had been better, those posts certainly could have harmed her chances.

Admissions officers check social media profiles

And according to Seppy Basili, vice president at Kaplan Test Prep, the percentage of admissions officers who check students’ social media profiles is on the rise, with 31% of officers saying they view these profiles during the admissions process. This is up 5% from last year.

Basili appeared on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers to warn of the dangers of students being rejected as colleges and universities increasingly check the social media posts of their applicants.

Watch the video below, and take his warnings to heart if you’re applying to college–or applying for jobs, as employers are increasingly checking applicants’ social media profiles as well.

Be careful what you tweet

Basili stresses the importance of remembering colleges are brands, and they have reputations to protect as well. They don’t want their future or current students disparaging the school on social media.

Have common sense–keep your social media profiles private, and don’t post anything you wouldn’t want a college admissions officer or future employer seeing.

What do you think about admissions officers using social media posts to check out prospective students? Do you think it’s fair or an invasion of privacy?

Let us know in the comments below or Tweet us at @CFGCollege.

Category: College Admissions

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