Rise Seen in Admissions Officers Checking Social Media

Of officers, 36 percent say they check the sites, up for 25 percent last year.

January 13, 2020

Thirty-six percent of admissions officers check applicants' social media profiles, up from 25 percent last year, according to a survey by Kaplan Test Prep.

The high-water mark of 40 percent saying that they check came in the 2015 survey by Kaplan.

Of admissions officers who have checked out an applicant’s social media footprint, about 19 percent say they do it “often,” significantly higher than the 11 percent who said they did so in 2015.

Of the admissions officers who say they check social media to learn more about their applicants, 38 percent say that what they found has had a positive impact on prospective students, and 32 percent say that what they found had a negative impact.

“In tracking the role of social media in the college admissions process over the past eleven years, what we’re seeing is that while admissions officers have become more ideologically comfortable with the idea of visiting applicants’ social media profiles as part of their decision-making process, in practice, the majority still don’t actually do it. They often tell us that while it shouldn't be off limits, they are much more focused on evaluating prospective students on the traditional admissions factors like an applicant’s GPA, SAT and ACT scores, letters of recommendation, admissions essay, and extracurriculars,” said a statement from Sam Pritchard, director of college prep programs at Kaplan Test Prep.

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Scott Jaschik

Scott Jaschik, Editor, is one of the three founders of Inside Higher Ed. With Doug Lederman, he leads the editorial operations of Inside Higher Ed, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Scott is a leading voice on higher education issues, quoted regularly in publications nationwide, and publishing articles on colleges in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He has been a judge or screener for the National Magazine Awards, the Online Journalism Awards, the Folio Editorial Excellence Awards, and the Education Writers Association Awards. Scott served as a mentor in the community college fellowship program of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, of Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a member of the board of the Education Writers Association. From 1999-2003, Scott was editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and graduated from Cornell University in 1985. He lives in Washington.

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