Before addressing school children in a speech this month, President Obama had some candid advice for students using social media. “First of all, I want everybody here to be careful about what you post on Facebook because in the YouTube age, whatever you do, it will be pulled up again later somewhere in your life,” Obama said. “And when you’re young, you make mistakes and you do some stupid stuff.” This may be just what students needed to hear given that a recent survey of colleges with the most selective admissions found that 10 percent of admissions officers have checked applicants’ social networking sites as part of their evaluation. What’s more 38 percent said they were “negatively affected” by what they found.
The findings are part an annual survey of college admissions officers by Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions, and are based on responses from 401 admissions officers from 500 of the nation’s top schools While the percentage of admissions officers checking social networking sites is still relatively low, students are increasingly extending friend requests to admissions officers, the survey found. More than 70 percent of admissions officers surveyed said they or a colleague had received a MySpace or Facebook “friend request” from an applicant. Read more about the impact social networking is having on admissions policies.