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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.