Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Applying to college? Think before you tweet

Date:
July 26, 2012
Source:
Wake Forest University
Summary:
Today, 93 percent of teens online use Facebook, and nearly a quarter of college admissions officers use it to help evaluate applicants.

Laura Gonzalez is a bit of a rare breed among college students because she has never shared anything regrettable on social media.

Unlike many of her peers, she refrains from sharing "T.M.I." about her relationship status and her weekend plans for one simple reason. She is looking for jobs.

"Facebook has become more of a branding tool more than anything else," said Gonzalez, a Wake Forest University senior who regularly shares on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. "Using social media is one way of putting out who you are, what your interests are, and showing how you can benefit the work force. But I always ask myself, 'What would a future employer think of this?'''

These days, employers are not the only ones using social media to evaluate their applicant pools. Higher education is increasingly getting in on the action, too. According to a 2011 Kaplan Test Prep survey, nearly a quarter of admissions officers use Facebook to help evaluate applicants, and 20 percent use Google.

Martha Allman, Wake Forest's Dean of Admissions, says social media offer additional communication channels for colleges and universities to get to know prospective students -- but not in an attempt to act like Big Brother.

"Our admissions officers use Google, Facebook and YouTube more for good than anything else," she said. "In the past, we've used them to learn more about a service project student has written about, a musical group an applicant played in and an internship program an applicant referenced. Typically the results aren't surprising, but they can be reassuring."

Though there have been instances when her staff has found information online about a student that isn't flattering, she says there is never one determining factor in admitting students to Wake Forest.

"Anything negative we find typically confirms other suspicions we have already," Allman said.

According to a recent Pew Internet study, 80 percent of teens online use social media; of those, 93 percent are on Facebook. Because social media are an important part of today's teenage culture, Allman offers several tips to help students balance what she calls their "digital personae."

• Be careful what you put online - Don't post anything that you don't want an admissions officer to see.

• Know your privacy options - Privacy settings can change frequently, especially on Facebook. If you're tagged in a friend's photo, people in both of your networks can now see those. Instagram is even more open; default settings mean anyone can view your photos.

• Talk to your friends - Set ground rules about what types of status updates, photos and location based service updates you want to be tagged in. Chances are if they're applying to schools, they should think about their own profiles as well.

• Be yourself - Whether it's an essay, an interview or a Tweet, admissions officers are looking for the real you in all your communications.

"Wake Forest is one of many schools that uses Google and social media in its admissions process just as employers would when interviewing job applicants. Ultimately, we want to recruit talented individuals who would be a good fit for the campus community," Allman said. "If we need to follow up on an individual's experience or background, we might use social media, but we're also likely to use other means, too."

Gonzalez hopes this advice will her younger sister, a freshman in high school, before she gets caught up in the fun of sharing (or oversharing). Her sister doesn't use Facebook yet, but when she does, Gonzalez has her own personal tip.

"I will tell her not to put anything out there that she doesn't want our parents to see. It's that simple," she said. "Regardless of changing privacy settings, using good judgment will keep her in safe territory with admissions officers as well."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wake Forest University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wake Forest University. "Applying to college? Think before you tweet." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120726112716.htm>.
Wake Forest University. (2012, July 26). Applying to college? Think before you tweet. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120726112716.htm
Wake Forest University. "Applying to college? Think before you tweet." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120726112716.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

US Police Put Body Cameras to the Test

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) Police body cameras are gradually being rolled out across the US, with interest surging after the fatal police shooting in August of an unarmed black teenager. Duration: 02:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

Ebola Cases Keep Coming for Monrovia's Island Hospital

AFP (Oct. 1, 2014) A look inside Monrovia's Island Hospital, a key treatment centre in the fight against Ebola in Liberia's capital city. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Puts Stress on Liberian Health Workers

Ebola Puts Stress on Liberian Health Workers

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) The Ebola outbreak is putting stress on first responders in Liberia. Ambulance drivers say they are struggling with chronic shortages of safety equipment and patients who don't want to go to the hospital. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
App Teaches Kindergarteners to Code

App Teaches Kindergarteners to Code

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) They can't all read yet, but soon kindergarteners may be able to create basic computer code. Researchers in Massachusetts developed an app that teaches young kids a simple computer programming language. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins