Are you Sure you Want to Post That?

By: Delaney Casten

Lately, numerous colleges have been discovering information about potential students through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.  Extensive studies done by Kaplan Test Prep have shown that about 38% of colleges look at the social media websites of their applicants.  The percentage rate increases every year, meaning this is the highest it has ever been.  Amongst colleges that look at the sites, about 34% of applicants have been affected, and in some cases, students’ online actions were even a factor in being denied admission.

Social media websites are used throughout the world to interact with others.  They have become popular internet sites for teenagers to spend a lot of their time on outside of school.  Colleges want students that excel in both school and their community, and because students spend so much time on social media websites, social media has become a resourceful tool for colleges.

Colleges are able to look at what students do and how they choose to spend their time when they are not in school.  This exposes the student’s privacy by uncovering their pastimes.  If a college admissions officer sees an applicant with evidence of underage drinking, or partaking in other practices the college deems unacceptable, they may be more reluctant to accept the student.

As high school students start to think about college, social media starts to become a bigger issue.  “I understand why [colleges] are curious, but it crosses a line and is a violation of privacy,” says sophomore Gabby Puller.

Even though some students say it is trespassing on their privacy, colleges defend themselves, stating that it is a good approach to determine whether or not a student should be accepted.  Colleges yearn for reliable students who will exceed in academics while being a safe and trustworthy role model for others.  Social media allows colleges to explore their options.

“Colleges should be accepting students based on academic standards, not their social life,” says sophomore Sonali Dawar.  College is an educational institute that students get accepted into because of their academics.  Now, their social life has become a factor.

When posting a picture on Instagram or tweeting, just remember that colleges are looking.  So next time you want to retweet something, just ask yourself, “Am I sure I want to post this?”