There was an article yesterday in the newspaper of the University of Pennsylvania, “The Daily Pennsylvanian,” in which our Founder, Bev Taylor, is quoted that focuses on admissions officers disclosing on social media what is written in college essays. One admissions officer in particular, a former Penn admissions officer by the name of Nadirah Farah Foley blatantly violated the trust of the Penn admissions office by posting excerpts of applicants’ college essays on her Facebook page. Can you imagine? When applicants write essays, the good ones reveal personal anecdotes about who they are and what they’re all about. But what if applicants couldn’t trust that sentences from their essays wouldn’t end up on Twitter or Facebook.
According to “The Daily Pennsylvanian,” “In one essay, a student had written about his ‘long and deep’ connections to the University, citing the fact that he had been circumcised at Penn Hillel years ago. ‘I look forward to engaging in the academic, social and Orthodox Jewish communities on campus,’ the student wrote, according to Foley’s post. ‘Stop the madness,’ Foley said in response to the essay on Facebook.” Oy vey. And an appropriate oy vey! First, a student really wrote that in his essay? While it is quite funny, it’s not appropriate for a college essay unfortunately. But then this admissions officer posted these lines online? Double oy vey.
Deans of admission at highly selective colleges can make their staff members sign agreements of confidentiality all they want. The fact is that many college admissions officers are hired right out of college. Many work in admissions for years — don’t get us wrong — but there is still a sizable portion of the field that hails directly from college without passing go. It’s their first job. They’re going to make mistakes like this, especially in the age of social media. What do you think can be done to stop this from happening going forward? Let us know your thoughts on the matter by posting below!Categories: College Essays, College Social Media Tags: Facebook and Admissions Essays, Facebook and College Admissions, Facebook and College Essays, Facebook and University Essays, FB and College Essays
Allen Grove, writer of the “About.com” blog on college admissions recently posted about fifteen Facebook photos that will make you look good to admissions officers. While we typically enjoy his posts, we happen to think that this post is utterly ridiculous. Citing a 2010 Kaplan survey in which it was found that 82% of college admissions counselors use Facebook to recruit students, Grove goes on to describe the kinds of Facebook photos that can hurt and help your chances for admission to the colleges of your choice.
Don’t get us wrong — we’re lifelong students of social psychology — a first impression is an important one. This information primes someone with what they’re going to think about a person and how they’re going to evaluate them. And since some college admissions counselors do indeed look up applicants on Facebook, it is important that you don’t have a scandalizing photo. You don’t want a photo drinking beer (that would be illegal anyway for students in the United States under the age of 21 applying to college). You don’t want a photo displaying gang signs. That can certainly hurt your chances for admission should a college admissions counselor see these photos.
But Mr. Grove goes off the deep end big time when he writes that students should select a photo in which they’re posing with an award. That would be arrogant — and who likes arrogant people? Or a photo where you’re “the star of the team.” That’s narcissistic. Or “the world traveler.” In fact, Mr. Grove writes, “Part of being a well-rounded student is having a worldview that reaches farther [sic] than your hometown. If you’ve traveled across the U.S. or visited other countries, put some of those travel pictures in your Facebook profile. Read the mission statements of colleges, and you’ll often see an emphasis on global awareness.” Oy vey. And well rounded? Not exactly the phrase college admissions counselors are targeting. Contrary to what Mr. Grove writes, don’t emphasize how much you travel as you apply to college. That just means you can afford to travel — something college admissions counselors might be rather jealous of.
The silly photos that Mr. Grove suggests you showcase to admissions counselors don’t end there. He even suggests that a “prom goer” photo would paint you in a good light to college admissions counselors. Really? That’s just not the case. Just about every high schooler goes to prom. How does this paint you in a good light to an admissions counselor? The thinking here is: Just. Plain. Wrong.
While you’re here, check out this post on Facebook and College Admissions.Categories: College Admissions, College Social Media Tags: Facebook and College Admission, Facebook and College Admissions, Facebook Photos and College Admission, Facebook Photos and University Admission, University Admission and Facebook Photos
Kaplan put together some data on social media in admissions. There’s nothing revolutionary in their data and nothing we haven’t written about before, but they do present it in an interesting way. According to their infographic, 41% of law school admissions officers acknowledge that they have at some point Googled an applicant. 27% of business school admissions officers admit to Googling applicants. While 20% of college admissions officers admit the same.
Meanwhile, 37% of law school admissions officers admit to having looked up an applicant on Facebook. 24% of business school admissions officers acknowledge the same, while the figure for college admissions officers is 22%. 32% of law school admissions officers claim they’ve found something in their searches that has negatively impacted a candidate. Of business school admissions officers, that statistic is 14%. And for college admissions officers, it’s 12%.
So if you’re applying to law school, definitely clean up your Facebook and Google search results. But that goes for business school and college applicants as well. Frankly, you should have a clean online reputation no matter where you’re applying because eventually you’re going to be applying for jobs. And when applying for jobs, employers Google. And Facebook. It is what it is. So clean up your mess if you’ve got one!
Check out this post on Social Media and College Admissions.Categories: Admissions Process, Applying to Graduate Schools, College Social Media Tags: Facebook in College Admissions, FB and College Admission, Google in College Admissions, Ivy League and Facebook, Social Media in Admissions
Everyone knows that Facebook was born in a Harvard University dorm room. But does everyone know which university has the most Facebook fans on its fan page? Yes, the answer is again Harvard. A few months ago, we wrote a post about which universities have the most Facebook fans. Topping the list was Harvard followed by University of Michigan, Ohio State University, Texas A&M, University of Texas, University of Florida, Penn State University, University of Alabama, Auburn University, and Michigan State University. No highly competitive school came anywhere near these universities in terms of Facebook fans on their fan page.
But now there’s a new milestone! Harvard and Facebook have a new connection…500,000 of them in fact. Harvard has indeed reached 500,000 Facebook fans, according to the “Harvard Crimson.” Marking the milestone, a post on Harvard’s fan page read, “Over half a million of you ‘Like’ this page! We’d like to thank all of you who have been following us here on Facebook for updates on teaching, research, life & learning at Harvard in Cambridge and around the world.”College Admissions, College Social Media, Ivy League Tags: Facebook and College Admissions, Harvard and Facebook, Harvard College and Facebook, Harvard University and Facebook, Ivy League and Facebook, Ivy League and Social Media
Facebook pages. Twitter accounts. YouTube. You name the social media platform and you can bet that colleges across the nation are using it to market to prospective students (see our blogs on college social media recruitment and college admissions and social media)! Colleges and social media are, in no uncertain terms, now joined at the hip. Yesterday, USA Today came out with a ranking of the 20 colleges that make the best use of social media. Let’s take a look at the rankings and examine what sets these colleges apart in social media.
1. Notre Dame – The school has Twitter and Facebook accounts for virtually every athletic team. They also have Irish alert text messaging.
2. Syracuse University – The social media platform foursquare was created, after all, by a Syracuse alum!
3. University of Texas
4. Baylor University
5. Butler University
6. Johns Hopkins University
7. Harvard University – Harvard is obviously famous for being the birthplace of Facebook. Did you also know they now have professors of social media?
8. Ithaca College
9. Columbia University – Columbia had so many social media accounts on the web that they had to build a directory to manage them.
10. Emerson College
11. Ohio State University
12. Duke University – The online Duke University Office Hours allows prospective students to interact with real life Duke professors!
Princeton University, Tufts University, Carnegie Mellon University, and Stanford University are also among the remaining universities in the top 20 social media ranking from “USA Today.”Categories: Admissions Process, College Admissions, College Social Media Tags: College Entrance and Social Media, Colleges and Social Media, Facebook and College Admission, Social Media and College Admissions, Universities and Social Media
Did you or your child Facebook friend their regional admissions counselors during the college admissions process? Did they send them a FB message or “poke” them? We hope not! We’ve previously posted about the impact of Facebook in the college admissions process and about social networking and college admissions. But today, we’d like to tell you about some statistics that amusingly depict just how Facebook is involved in the college admissions process. It should be noted that studies we’ve read and written about do not confirm this data. Most college admissions counselors still aren’t looking at Facebook profiles so we’re not so sure about the statistic quoted in a “Schools.com” infographic that 70% of colleges use FB profiles in the college admissions process.
Since we’re skeptical about that statistic, we can’t help but be a little skeptical about the other stats but we’ll let you know them anyway. According to the infographic, 62% of admissions counselors say that FB profiles actually helped students gain admission. Uh huh. We don’t buy that for a second. 80% of colleges use social media in the college recruitment process. That we believe. Colleges are increasingly turning to social media as a way to appeal to the masses. And an astounding 80% of college admissions counselors have received a FB or MySpace friend request. Hilarious.Categories: Admissions Process, College Admissions, College Social Media Tags: College Admission, Facebook and College Admissions, Social Media and College Admissions, University Admission, University Admissions
Colleges obviously use Facebook as a forum to recruit students to apply to their school and to recruit students to attend once they’ve been accepted. But what colleges are doing this the most successfully? Let’s take a look at a “US News & World Report” chart by Ryan Lytle as published in “Colleges Bring Campuses to Facebook” in which they analyze the Facebook fans of the universities they ranked as the ten most prestigious universities in America.
|School Name||Facebook Fans (as of 4/5/11)||U.S. NewsRanking|
|University of Pennsylvania||18,523||5|
|California Institute of Technology||5,388||7|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||27,883||7|
|University of Chicago||40,266||9|
Lytle, Ryan. “Colleges Bring Campuses to Facebook.” US News & World Report. 7 April 2011. Web. 12 April 2011.
And what about the universities with the most Facebook fans overall (not just the colleges that comprise “US News & World Report’s” Top 10? According to Ryan Lytle of “US News & World Report,” here they are (Harvard tops the list again):
|School Name||Facebook Fans (as of 4/5/11)||U.S. NewsRanking|
|University of Michigan||267,858||29|
|Ohio State University||265,657||56|
|Texas A&M University||263,027||63|
|University of Texas||238,387||45|
|University of Florida||208,237||53|
|Pennsylvania State University||188,880||47|
|University of Alabama||171,036||79|
|Michigan State University||134,586||85|
Lytle, Ryan. “Colleges Bring Campuses to Facebook.” US News & World Report. 7 April 2011. Web. 12 April 2011.
Check out our related blogs: Social networking in college admissions, college social media recruitment, our newsletter: Using social media to your advantage in college admissions, and check out The Ivy Coach’s Facebook page.Categories: Admissions Process, College Social Media, Ivy League Tags: College Admissions and Facebook, College Applicants, Harvard University, Social Media and College Admissions, US News Rankings
There are a number of interesting studies on the use of social media by college admissions offices as a means to recruit potential applicants. Two researchers at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Nora Ganim Barnes and Eric Mattson, have found that since 2007, there has been an 84% increase by admissions offices in blogging and a 300% increase in the use of Facebook.
Wrote Ganim Barnes and Mattson in their study, “The first study of the schools and their use of social media revealed that institutions of higher education were outpacing the more traditional Fortune 500 companies as well as the fast-growing Inc. 500 companies in their use of social media to communicate with their customers (i.e., students). For example, at that time, 8% of the Fortune 500 companies were blogging compared with 19% of the Inc. 500 while 32% of colleges and universities were using this tool.
In 2008, in a follow-up on the original study, The Center gathered the data again in order to conduct one of the first statistically significant, longitudinal studies on the usage of social media by college admission offices. That study compared two years of data, 2007 and 2008. Given that a detailed wiki and a longitudinal University of Massachusetts study showed that in 2008, 13% of the Fortune 500 and 39% of the Inc. 500 had a public blog, it was interesting to see that college admission departments continued to lead the organizational pack with blogs at 41% of US colleges and universities.”
The authors go on to write, “500 (22% have a corporate blog) and the fast-growing Inc. 500 (42% have a corporate blog). The latest research shows 51% of colleges and universities have an admissions blog for their school…The results are fascinating and continue to support what the 2007 study documented for the first time: Colleges and universities are using social media to recruit and research prospective students. It is clear that online behavior can have important consequences for young people and that social networking sites can, and will, be utilized by others to make decisions about them.”
Below is a chart from the Ganim Barnes and Mattson study:
See the research on the use of social media by college admissions offices in the recruitment process here.
Read our Newsletter on Using Social Networking Sites to Your Advantage.Admissions Process, College Decisions, College Social Media, Transfer Students Tags: College Admissions Social Media, College Applicants, College Recruitment, College Social Media Recruitment
Social media is a hot topic in college admissions. The question so many students and parents often pose is: Do college admissions counselors check the Facebook pages of their applicants? The short answer is…no. College admissions counselors don’t have the time to peruse every applicant’s Facebook page. In a word, it’s impractical. But does that mean you should have content on your Facebook page or on other social media outlets that you wouldn’t want an admissions counselor to see? Of course not!
Just because admissions counselors don’t check every applicant’s Facebook page doesn’t mean they won’t check your Facebook page. What if you’re a borderline candidate whose application has gone to committee? And just because admissions counselors tend not to check your Facebook page, that may not be the case for alumni interviewers.
Alumni interviewers quite frequently take a look at your Facebook page either before the interview when they are trying to figure out how to recognize you at a crowded Starbucks, or after the interview when they are completing their evaluation. Since alumni only interview a certain number of students, they want to be able to share information that can be helpful to the admissions office in formulating a decision. Alumni interviewers thus often have the time and the motivation to check your Facebook page.
In an article this week in “The Seattle Times” linked below, the author writes about ways to use social media to your competitive advantage in the college admissions process. We agree — there are indeed ways to market your art portfolio or accomplishments on the viola online for college admissions counselors. There are ways to carefully use the Internet to help your case for admission. But by keeping your privacy preferences open to the public or by having it up there at all, you run the risk of unintentionally sharing information with people who will have an influence on your admissions decisions. Is it worth the risk?
Read our Newsletter on Using Social Networking Sites to Your Advantage.
Check out the article in “The Seattle Times” here.Categories: Admissions Process, College Decisions, College Interviews, College Social Media, Transfer Students Tags: College Admissions, College Admissions Facebook, College Admissions Social Media, College Applicants, Social Media and College Admissions