US Colleges Say Social Media is “Fair Game” during Admissions Process, Recent Survey Concludes

Img: Kaplan Test Prep 
Social media can be a great and useful tool in our daily lives, allowing interaction on a global scale with little-to-no cost or hindrance. These platforms can also serve another purpose, allowing us to showcase the very best of ourselves to the wider world; however if used improperly they can in fact have the exact opposite effect, with potentially damaging consequences.

We have long since had confirmation that many recruiters will trawl through an applicant’s social media presence before making the decision as to whether or not to hire them, and now a new survey conducted by Kaplan Test Prep has revealed that a significant majority of 68% of US colleges believe that delving into an applicant’s social media profiles is “fair game” during the admissions process. Though you might expect outrage at this revelation it appears that the students themselves agree, with a separate Kaplan survey of 900 high school students finding that 70% also consider admissions officers’ scouting of social media profiles to be fair game.

According to the survey admissions officers who say it’s “fair game” shared the following reasoning:
  • “Employers do it all the time. Colleges can do it as well.”
  • “I think if things are publicly accessible without undue intrusion, it’s OK. If it’s searchable, it’s fair game.”
  • “We don’t do this, but we could. I think high school seniors make poor choices sometimes when they put stuff online.”
Admissions officers who said they viewed this as an “invasion of privacy” shared the following:
  • “Their application should be the sole decider.”
  • “We use social media for recruitment, not admissions.”
  • “We only look at social media if the applicant includes or provides it.”
Reassuringly however while a large majority of admissions officers do defend their right to visit applicants’ social media profiles, only 29% say they actually do so. This appears to be a matter of choice rather than imposed regulations as only 20% say that their school has official guidelines or policies; and of that 20%, only 33% are not permitted to do so.

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