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Now Facebook plays part in college admissions too

News18test sharma |

Updated: February 28, 2011, 6:57 AM IST
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Now Facebook plays part in college admissions too
Four out of five college admissions officers use Facebook to recruit students.

Houston: Perfect score is not the only criteria for getting admission into a reputed college now, but of late Facebook too has become an important selection tool.

Four out of five college admissions officers use Facebook to recruit students, according to last year's survey by Kaplan Test Prep.

"We found that 82 per cent of admissions officers reported that their school is using Facebook to recruit students," Russell Schaffer, Kaplan's Senior Communication Manager, told All Facebook.

The website StudentAdvisor reports at least one case of an applicant being rejected because of something in his or her social media profile.

And one interviewer has said she is "absolutely" prejudiced by what she sees online about candidates. "I think it's always better to be safe than sorry," Allison Otis, who conducts interviews for Harvard College, posted in a thread on the website Quora.

"When you apply to college you spend such a long time crafting an image through your applications and essays that to be careless about your online data is just silly".

Otis said she regularly searches Google for students' names and looks through their Facebook and Twitter profiles. The content of a prospective student's Facebook profile is fast becoming more important than their grades, extracurricular activities, or teacher recommendations, but it s not that huge of a surprise that the social network is playing a role in the admission process.

After all, if recruiters check Facebook when hiring future employees, there's really no reason why schools can't do the same for students. Sometimes your online profile can be the tiebreaker.

It's also important to note that the high number likely also includes college representatives finding interesting students online and encouraging them to apply to their school. If you're a student, there are two ways to take advantage of this information.

On the one hand, you can try to make your Facebook profile as exemplary as possible. This is quite difficult given that you have to stay on top of what your Facebook friends tag you in and so on.

The other option is to simply lock down your Facebook privacy settings. You should probably already be doing this regardless of whether you are applying to a college, university, or new job.

Facebook is much more of a private social network than competing services: if you don't want anyone but your friends to see your Facebook posts, then change your settings!.

A Facebook profile obviously doesn't hold as much weight as grades, test scores, extracurricular activities, teacher recommendations and essays.

But when you're looking at a tie between equally talented students, social media content could be the tiebreaker. Dean Tsouvalas, editor of StudentAdvisor, recommends in a recent blog post that students use social media to their advantage.

He suggests following the school's Twitter feed or "liking" its Facebook fan page. Students also can post a video resume on YouTube or blog about volunteering efforts or other extracurricular activities and provide a link on their applications.

First Published: February 28, 2011, 6:57 AM IST
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