50% of College Admission Officers Report Checking Applicants’ Social Media, Study Finds

50% of college admission officers report checking a student’s social media account, according to a new study.

New research points out as teenagers use social networks to share parts of their lives with their friends and family, college admission officers are now reviewing their social media profiles.

The Social U, a company that analyzes social media data, surveyed college admissions officers. The results of the study reveal that 79% of college admission officials consider “quality of character” an important component of the admissions process.

In addition, 50% report checking  applicants’ social media accounts. The study showed that 57% of admission officers involved in the study say they discovered profanity, evidence of prejudice, partying, drinking or drug abuse while reviewing applicants’ social media profiles. In fact, researchers report 69% of college admission officers report seeing a form of prejudice on applicants’ social media profile.

Researchers involved in the study report that while 50% of college admissions officers report looking at an applicant’s social media profile it does not mean that every applicant is getting their social internet history analyzed. However, Social U explains an applicant may not know that their social media accounts are being reviewed.

The Social U Founder, Julie Fisher, also pointed out the likelihood of an admissions officer to review a student’s social media profile increases when the applicant is applies for a scholarship or had a disciplinary record. “While students may never know if their social media profiles are being reviewed, it is wise to take steps now to make sure their social media accounts reflect their character and academic commitment,” Fisher said.

This news comes after teens report Snapchat as their favorite social network. A Piper Jaffray study found that 35% of teens report Snapchat as their favorite social network. While, Instagram came in second. Piper Jaffray surveyed 10,000 U.S. teens and found that 80% of teens check their Snapchat at least once per month.

Social networking companies are making it easier for people to broadcast facets of their lives to the public. Earlier this week, Instagram debuted Live Stories. Live Stories allow for Instagram users to go livestream what is going on in real time.


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