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What Your Teen Should Know About Social Media and College Admission Officers

Posted on Posted in Blog, College Bound Tips

What Your Teen Should Know About Social Media and College Admission Officers

Have you ever regretted something that you did when you were a teenager?  No need to confess here, all I have to say is thank the good Lord above no one had Smartphones when we were coming up.  If anyone did anything embarrassing or made a decision well worth a decade or more of regret the only people who could sit in judgment were the ones who knew about what happened.  And normally their judgment went as far as the school year and maybe a flashback memory at the high school reunion.  But there was nothing anybody had any proof of or certainly nothing someone could flash up on a screen.
When it comes to my kiddos and social media I tend to get a little nervous.  There’s a reason why you help your teen spend hours and hours putting together a stellar portfolio and competitive SAT and ACT scores.  Just like meeting someone for the first time you want the college admissions committee to have a good first impression of your college bound genius.  And racist’s chants or pictures on a timeline that a teen wouldn’t look at around their mama sure don’t make for a good first impression.
You know that when the kiddos and teens are on social media, posting and tweeting their life away, they are not thinking about the fact that one day a college, university or even future employer will peruse through their timeline.  An anxious inducing thought given the fact that a recent survey by Cornerstone Reputation found that:
  • Some admission officers pay attention to a potential applicants activity on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter (i.e. what images/pictures/posts  they like/retweeted/shared)
  • In the 2012-2013 admissions season, 27% of admissions officers searched applicants online; the following year, 40% of admissions officers searched applicants online, representing a 48% increase
  • 59% claim that other admissions officers at their school utilize online searches
  • More than half of admissions officers 'Googled' applicants and used social media to search applicants; 54 percent, admitted to searching for information on applicants using Google or a major social media platform such as Facebook or Twitter.
  • 44% found content that left a negative impression about the applicant
  • 46% found content that positively impacted their impression of an applicant


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Most parents that I know have access to their child’s social media accounts which allows for some type of monitoring of what one may want to post or share.  But if you think you may have missed anything than:
  • Go back through pictures
  • Read through old posts and shares
  • Too much cleaning up to do??? Set that profile to Private!
 Some parents don’t allow their teens to have a social media account at all.  I agree with both strategies, personally…anything in the name of warding off any online posting of awkward, shameful teenage moments.


How do you monitor your teen’s social media accounts?


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