According to a Kaplan survey of college admissions officers, more than 80 percent admitted to using Facebook to look into prospective students. Although social networks are not formally built into the college admissions approval process, there have been multiple cases of rejection because of a social networking profile. Here are 5 tips to make sure your student's online presence will not effect the college admissions process in a negative way:
(1) Use Socioclean
Socioclean is free software that allows you to run your social networking profiles through and find all of the vulgar content and problem areas. The full report breaks down comments into multiple categories including racist comments, vulgar language, sexual connotation and more. This will show you what a college admissions officer could see in your high school student.
(2) Increase Facebook privacy settings
Facebook allows you to adjust privacy settings from totally open to completely invisible. Minimally, your student's Facebook page should not be open to anyone except Facebook friends. Here's how to get to the privacy settings:
-Click on Profile
-Click on Edit Profile
-Click 'privacy settings' on the left below the list of options
-Choose from the options on the left
(3) Do not accept friend requests from strangers
If your privacy settings are based around "Friends Only," that means that only the people who you accept friend requests from are able to view your profile. Therefore, do not accept friend requests from people you do not know. You do not want a handful of Facebook friends who you are not familiar with for two reasons: first, they can view your profile, and second, they can post on your wall. If you do not know who they are, you do not know what they are capable of writing.
(4) Google your student's full name
Google your full name, or your child's full name: whomever is the one applying to college. I heard once as a job search tip that the first page of search results for your first name should be treated like your resume. This is the same for a college admissions process. If there are areas of concern on the first page of results, this is a red flag for admissions. If there are concerning results, contact us for a free consultation of how to jump the bad results with good results.
(5) Delete Myspace
Myspace is more of an open social network. Myspace profiles are pretty much open for anyone to view, and this lends itself to more spamming and interaction with unknown people. We recommend just deleting the Myspace profile altogether because they are easily accessible and inherently attract unknown people.
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