College admission officers check social media sites of applicants

Tim Goral's picture
Wednesday, November 6, 2013

More college admissions officers are checking applicants on Google and Facebook but savvy students are hiding or removing incriminating information, according to Kaplan Test Prep, a company that provides standardized test preparation products for students.

In 2008, when Kaplan first surveyed admissions officers about checking social media, about 10 percent said they checked Facebook pages. The percentage has increased steadily since then, the company said.

This year, 29 percent of admissions officers said they typed in the applicant’s name on Google and 31 percent checked Facebook or other social network sites.

“As social media has skyrocketed from being the domain of a younger generation to societal ubiquity, the perceived taboo of admissions officers checking applicants online has diminished,” said Seppy Basili, vice president of Kaplan Test Prep in a news release. “Granted, most admissions officers are not tapping into Google or Facebook, and certainly not as a matter of course. But there’s definitely greater acknowledgment and acceptance of this practice now than there was five years ago.”

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