Does Social Media Influence Admissions?

More than a third of admissions officers visit candidates’ profiles on social media. 

WHEN COLLEGE ADMISSIONS officers are considering candidates, do they ever weigh information from the applicants’ social media accounts? Some do, some don’t, according to 300 officers surveyed by Kaplan Test Prep:

  • 36% visit profiles like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
  • 19% check applicants’ footprints “often.”
  • 38% say what they find has a negative impact on their view of candidates.
  • 32% visit profiles like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
  • 41% believe such visits are “an invasion of privacy and shouldn’t be done.”

Kaplan has tracked the role of social media in the college admissions process over the past 11 years. While admissions officers have been more “ideologically comfortable” with the idea of checking social media accounts, many of them prefer to rely on more traditional factors such as test scores, letters of recommendation, essays, and extracurriculars, says Sam Pritchard, director of college prep programs for Kaplan Test Prep.

“We continue to believe that applicants’ social media content remains a wildcard in the admissions process,” says Pritchard. “Our consistent advice to teens is to remain careful and strategic about what they decide to share.”

View a video about the survey results.