Social Media and College Admissions Essay Example
Social Media and College Admissions Essay Example

Social Media and College Admissions Essay Example

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  • Pages: 4 (1962 words)
  • Published: July 14, 2021
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Social media use has been rising exponentially since it was created, and consumption has recently increased to a different level. Teens now have a plethora of accounts on various sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+, to name a few. These accounts are useful for social interaction and networking. Still, for a college applicant, the sites have become breeding grounds for inaccurate material that could ultimately cost them their college letter of acceptance. Apart from the constant stress over standardized tests and the achievement of high grades, students, today have something else to worry about: their social media accounts.

According to a survey from The New York Times, 31 percent of 381 college admissions officers who participated in a Kaplan telephone questionnaire confessed to following a Facebook applicant or other personal social media accounts in an attempt to learn more about them, up from just 10 percent in 2008. Around 29 percent of those surveyed said they had Googled an applicant. College admissions officers are investing an increased amount of time online as they are utilizing social media accounts of candidates to evaluate whether or not their submitted applications suit their real persona. Colleges have denied admission to individual students based on observations of their officers, given the applicants’ findings. Despite the outstanding GPAs of the students, test scores and other milestones.

Additionally, these students are not aware that their accounts on social media are the source of their rejection Such privacy invasion is not supported, but it is al

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so not prevented. The use of social media as a measure of approval is relatively new, so at most colleges there are no restrictions or limits on. There are actually no defined rules in place to determine whether online stalking is acceptable and what crosses the line. But should students be refused admission to their dream college and have their lives forever changed due to an image they shared at a younger age? I believe that the idea of this is ridiculous. And if there is to be some internet inquisition, rules must be in effect that regulate it.

For one thing, online accounts have a lot of misleading information. Pictures may sound funny to one person but offensive to another. Funny tweets and posts online are intended for friends’ eyes, not admissions officers. An admissions officer should not evaluate the student on the basis of what can be read online for them, because these pupils have worked too hard to be hindered by a stupid online mistake. And an individual is so much more than a profile or a message. However, it is inappropriate for admissions officers having the ability to snoop on prospective students electronically. I assume that most college admissions officers nowadays didn’t have to worry about censoring their digital footprints before applying to schools themselves. They shouldn’t be able to judge applicants that way, as they’ve never been exposed to this kind of scrutiny. A form of formal legislation and guidelines must be in place for officers to abide by when using the internet to lurk student accounts. Getting into college is hard enough without the added stress o

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maintaining a perfect social media presence. College applicants have many other application details to worry about, and this should not be a factor of fear.

Shaun McElroy, a counselor at Shanghai American School in China, wrote on the listserv of the National Association for College Admission Counseling. “Here is what I don’t understand: Web 2.0 has been around long enough for colleges to come up with policies about what they will look at in the application process. Colleges have an obvious opportunity to ask for what they need to make a decision. It is called the application (and for common app enthusiasts, the supplement). You could ask them if they have ever drank alcohol. Why do you need to look for pictures? You could ask them if they ever made snarky comments to impress friends–why do you need to scour twitter feeds? I understand the human nature element of googling someone, but these are young adults who were once kids. Near as I can figure, making mistakes is part of growing up” ( WASHINGTON). Shaun continues to speak on how most of the time that these situations are brought too far of an extreme. Shaun ends his statement with,” If colleges want this information, they should put it on the application: We reserve the right to examine your presence on the web. And then they really should give the kid a chance to respond.” This is a thought that many agree with, the idea that in these cases, the students should be able to respond, but the sad reality is that they are not given the opportunity the majority of the time.

In opposition, teens and their parents may not be aware of how often college admissions officers say social media positively impacts a prospective student’s application, as opposed to reducing their chances of admission. Social media is an excellent place to make an impression. Most college students don’t seem to recognize that what you post online is perceived as the real you. When university recruiters are checking out social media activity, they are looking to see who the applicant is beyond the polished application.Instead of ruining the “virtual” impression, social media can be used to construct a proper one. For instance, colleges monitor their social media mentions. This is how they’re able to capture students posting disparaging comments about others. They also have equipment that allows them to see who views their page or follow their links on emails. In short, they monitor and are involved to see those who interact with them online.

From the Kaplan questionnaire mentioned prior, a more significant number said the review benefited the applicant: Forty-seven percent said what they found had a positive impact on prospective students versus forty-two percent who said what they discovered had a negative effect. One example, according to Yariv Alpher, executive director of research for Kaplan Test Prep, is a student who took to Twitter to describe facilitating a panel on LGBTQ rights, and it was not something the student had mentioned on her application. Yariv Alpher has firm beliefs that these methods offer more positives than negatives. “There’s no question

that grades, test scores, recommendations, and activities, the traditional factors, are overwhelmingly going to impact a student’s admission, said Alpher. But when admissions officers are looking for something more to get a sense of a student, social media can provide some additional clues” (CNN). A virtual first impression is what this method is seen as to individuals who support it. Alan Katzman is founder and chief executive officer of Social Assurity, which provides social media education to students for college and career readiness. He and his colleagues encourage students to create profiles on LinkedIn, a network traditionally used by working professionals, to help an admissions officer gets a better sense of who they are and what skills they bring to the table. “we kind of encourage them to focus along the lines of teamwork, time management (and) problem-solving,” he said. “We want them to get self-reflective and authentic and not see LinkedIn as a résumé, but see it as really a portfolio of who they are as a person” (CNN)Based on feedback from the students with which he has worked with, Katzman said about 80 percent of those who build LinkedIn profiles and include them in their applications confirm that someone from the college they are applying to has looked at their profile. This is seen as a perfect solution for monitoring the use of this tool, although there is no way to know how the account has influenced the admissions officer. During alumni conferences, Katzman notes, certain aspects of social media play a role in the admissions process. These are interviews of potential candidates conducted by college or university graduates who happen to live in the same area as the applicant.

The majority of college admissions officers say they do not check an applicant’s social media, according to the Kaplan survey. Beth Wiser, executive director of admissions for the University of Vermont, said that as a matter of policy, her school does not review a student’s social media accounts. But, this is only one school out of the thousands of universities in America that has confirmed this. Yet universities wanting to check social media can have more difficulty doing so than in the past. Several surveys find that teenagers move away from sites like Facebook and Twitter, which are relatively easy for others to access, to places like Instagram and Snapchat, for instance. On those platforms, uploading and removing content or preventing others from seeing what they shared becomes simpler for those who have accounts. A majority of colleges (52%) reported their view that over the past few years, “students have become more savvy in covering their social media presence” (inside). Perhaps college students are being more cautious after Harvard University rescinded offers to 10 incoming students in 2017, after finding out about “offensive” memes they shared in a non-public Facebook group chat. Although the page was managed through Harvard’s College Admissions and Financial Aid Office, it’s description stated, “As a reminder, Harvard College reserves the right to withdraw a provide of admission under more than a few prerequisites which include if an admitted scholar engages in conduct that brings

into query his or her honesty, maturity, or ethical character” (SAVING). Another incident worried a Florida high college student who posted an offensive prom proposal. The University of Florida, as well as Florida State University, said they don’t monitor applicants on social media; however, they are notified of inappropriate posts, according to the Herald-Tribune. If they sense that social media posts indicate violence, or is a risk to the community, the scholar may be denied admission, or even rescinded.

Although this topic may be seen as an issue to some, college admissions officers have justifications for why they view the applicant’s social media. Through the various studies mentioned prior, some schools take place in this, and some do not. I believe that there should be a line these admissions officers have when searching for information against or in favor of the applicant. For example, posts that are shared many years prior at a young age should not have the power to define the applicant’s capabilities and who they may have become over time. There are numerous solutions available to applicants who may be worried about this occurring to them — one of which being untagging themselves in old posts. Although applicants individual pages may be clean, there is a possibility that they are tagged in inappropriate posts via a friend or colleague. Students, as mentioned prior, can always use this to their advantage. As mentioned earlier, LinkedIn is an excellent opportunity for students to show colleges more individuality in the form of a resume or portfolio. I use my Instagram account as a portfolio for my photography hobby. According to Reader’s Digest, applicants should not be afraid to “post pictures of your volunteer work, links to an article you wrote for the school paper or something else that showcases your talents and passions. According to TIME, many admissions officers have said that they found details, such as leadership roles or community service, that reflected positively on an applicant.” Keeping a clean online footprint is crucial, and by definition, online profiles are always changing. By still being confident that your profiles are representing you positively throughout the entire application process and being diligent about searching for anything that may leave a less-than-stellar impression in an admissions officer’s mind, the applicant will be in a great place.