Facebook: The Social Supplement

Attention all college applicants! It appears that your nightmare has come true. According to a recent Kaplan survey of admissions offices, more than 80 percent of college admissions officers consider an applicant’s social media presence. In short, your Facebook is under scrutiny. The degree to which your Facebook profile really influences your admission chances, however, varies per school and per officer. See what a Brown admission officer has to say and read up on precautionary steps to take all after the jump!

Brown applicants, you are in luck! James Miller, Dean of Admissions, when asked how an applicant’s Facebook profile plays a part in the admissions process, simply responded, “It doesn’t.” Though he asserts that the Admissions Office has never rejected a student “solely on the basis of a Facebook profile,” he adds, “…we have received anonymous letters containing screenshots from students’ Facebook profiles that led us to have concerns.”

Even if you don’t have spiteful schoolmates attempting to stop you from getting into your dream school, you should take precautionary measures to ensure that your Facebook doesn’t find itself next to your supplement essays. Here are some simple ways to college-proof your Facebook account:

  1. Only let your friends view your photos and personal information. (Do this via your Privacy Settings).
  2. Untag yourself in (and preferably delete) all incriminating photos of you. This includes, but is not limited to, pictures of you with alcohol, smoke coming out of your mouth, and your bare butt showing.
  3. Edit who can search you on Facebook. Not everyone is worthy of gazing deeply into your Facebook soul, especially not admissions officers.
  4. Change your Facebook name (at least for the better part of senior year). Not only does this prevent admissions officers from finding you, but it also allows you to demonstrate how clever and punny you are to all of your friends. The wittier the wordplay, the better.
  5. Don’t post statuses, pictures, or comments that your grandma would frown upon, especially if you are friends with her on Facebook. (What? She’s cool.)
  6. De-friend (or put on limited profile) any friends you think might try to sabotage you. Though it might be kind of awkward if they call you out on that.

In general, just use your common sense. Don’t be an idiot.

1 Comment

  1. Just another way that technology is making us shape our identities to fit its questionable rubric. Your Facebook profile is *absolutely* a presentation of yourself. So present yourself! If you don’t want college admissions officers to know you get drunk, don’t get drunk! Because if you do have photos of you drinking or whatever, and then you decide not to post them to Facebook, you’re literally hiding part of your identity. Suppressing it. And you know that briefly scary feeling when someone whips out a camera in a party where absolutely no camera belongs? That’s because of Facebook. We’re letting a website not only create emotion in our lives, but shape it.

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