Social networking websites have recently been a hot topic of conversation in college admissions. Thanks to Google, anything you write can be read by anyone! All a college admissions counselor has to do is Google your name. That’s not to say that college admissions counselors routinely Google every applicant’s name, but if something you say in an essay or about an activity listed on your activity sheet is questionable, an admissions counselor may turn to Google to get more information.
Most colleges do not look up students online, but when other people draw attention to, say, possibly offensive blogs, then schools often take action. Can you be sure that someone who has applied to the same college won’t submit your blog to an admissions officer at that college? Our advice to students is not to post anything on the Internet that you wouldn’t want a college admissions counselor to read.
Whether it’s through Facebook, MySpace, Xanga, LiveJournal, Friendster, or any other social networking site, students are online sharing details with friends, online for everyone to see. Now, how would you feel if your teachers saw your site? A college admission counselor? Most colleges are not surfing the Web for your profile. However, when other people bring students’ blogging to their attention, schools often do respond. At least one college applicant was denied admission in part because of his blog on LiveJournal. The admission dean said the student’s blog, which was brought to his attention, included seemingly hostile comments about certain college officials.
Although blogs can be fun, remember that what you post is for public view, like broadcasting it on the six o’clock news. So when it’s time to apply for college, give your blog a second look to make sure you feel comfortable sharing everything you have posted with an admission counselor and, later, with potential employers…because your site becomes permanent, public information about you.
Read our Newsletter on Using Social Networking Sites to Your Advantage.