GOOD

College Admissions Officers Are Definitely Checking Your Facebook Page

Record numbers of college admissions officers admit they're checking out applicants' Facebook pages. Is it time to scrub your digital footprint?


Applicants to college or graduate school are always looking for ways to stand out from the crowd, but they might want to think twice about how their Facebook pages will impact their admissions chances. According to a recent survey by Kaplan Test Prep, 24 percent of college admissions officers admit to doing a little digging on an applicant's Facebook or other social networking page—up from 10 percent in 2008—and 20 percent have Googled them.

Martha Allman, dean of admissions at Wake Forest University, told U.S. News & World Report that "anything in the public domain is fair game for admissions counselors to look at," so she "doesn't consider that an invasion of privacy." Along with reviewing GPAs, essays and other information, her staff uses Facebook profiles to get to know applicants "prior to an admissions interview," so that they can "get a sense of who the student is."


Indeed, colleges are increasingly interested in a student's online life. Earlier this summer, the University of Iowa's Tippie School of Management garnered plenty of attention after a gimmick in which they decided to award a full scholarship to a Twitter applicant. Tippie encouraged including links to blogs, Facebook pages, and other social networking sites in the 140-application tweet—and of course, through applying, applicants revealed their personal Twitter handles to the school's admissions team.

Inviting a school into your personal life—whether voluntarily or involuntarily through admissions counselors' get-to-know-you efforts—could have disastrous results. Twelve percent of admissions counselors told Kaplan that what they found on social networks hurt an applicant's admissions prospects—particularly when it involved vulgarity, evidence of alcohol consumption or essay plagiarism, or proof of illegal activity.

As savvy high school guidance counselors frequently suggest during admissions season, it's a smart idea to lock down your Facebook account, untag yourself from your friend's photos, delete your Twitter feed, take your Tumblr underground, and generally scrub your digital footprint of anything that could be considered remotely questionable. Sure, it doesn't seem fair that schools are judging someone who has stellar grades, plenty of volunteer service, and sky-high SAT scores based on a few wild photos from homecoming, but it's happening—and probably more frequently than people were willing to admit to Kaplan. Besides, once those acceptance letters are firmly in hand, won't all that scrubbing seem worth the effort?

Photo via (cc) Flickr user James BonTempo

Articles
Photo by Josh Couch on Unsplash

Christopher Columbus, Alexander Hamilton, William Shakespeare, and Sir Walter Scott are getting company. Statues of the famous men are scattered across Central Park in New York City, along with 19 others. But they'll finally be joined by a few women.

Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth are the subjects of a new statue that will be on display along The Mall, a walkway that runs through the park from 66th to 72nd street. It will be dedicated in August of next year, which is fittingly the 100-year anniversary of the 19th Amendment that granted women the right to vote.

Currently, just 3% of statues in New York City are dedicated to women. Out of 150 statues of historical figures across the city, only five statues are of historical women, including Joan of Arc, Golda Meir, Gertrude Stein, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Harriet Tubman.

Keep Reading Show less
promo-homepage

It's easy to become calloused to everyday headlines with messages like, "the world is ending" and "everything is going extinct." They're so prevalent, in fact, that the severity of these statements has completely diminished to the point that no one pays them any attention. This environmental negativity (coined "eco-phobia") has led us to believe that all hope is lost for wildlife. But luckily, that isn't the case.

Historically, we have waited until something is near the complete point of collapse, then fought and clawed to bring the species numbers back up. But oftentimes we wait so long that it's too late. Creatures vanish from the Earth altogether. They go extinct. And even though I don't think for a single second that we should downplay the severity of extinction, if we can flip this on its head and show that every once in a while a species we have given up on is actually still out there, hanging on by a thread against all odds, that is a story that deserves to be told. A tragic story of loss becomes one about an animal that deserves a shot at preservation and a message of hope the world deserves to hear.

As a wildlife biologist and tracker who has dedicated his life to the pursuit of animals I believe have been wrongfully deemed extinct, I spend most of my time in super remote corners of the Earth, hoping to find some shred of evidence that these incredible creatures are still out there. And to be frank, I'm pretty damn good at it!

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet

For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
NHM Vienna/Hans Reschreiter

Wealth inequality has been a hot topic of discussion as of late, but it's something that's occurred all throughout history. Class structure is a complicated issue, especially when you consider that haves and have nots have been in existence for over 4,000 years.

A study published in Science took a look at over 100 late Neolithic and early Bronze Age skeletons found in a burial site in southern Germany. The study "shed light on the complexity of social status, inheritance rules, and mobility during the Bronze Age." Partly by looking at their teeth and the artifacts they were buried with, researchers were able to discover that wealth inequality existed almost 4,000 years ago. "Our results reveal that individual households lasting several generations consisted of a high-status core family and unrelated low-status individuals, a social organization accompanied by patrilocality and female exogamy, and the stability of this system over 700 years," the study said.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture
via Truthout.org / Flickr and Dimitri Rodriguez / Flickr

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics