In the age of technology, social media has become a way to learn everything there is to know about a person. By scrolling through someone’s Instagram for two minutes, a person could learn where they live, who their friends are and what their personality is like.
It has been known that colleges have utilized social media to find out more about their prospective students and their lives. In fact, according to Study International, around 68 percent of admission offices consider checking social media such as Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter fair game.
College admissions offices that investigate these things have strong reasonings as to why they look into applicant’s online life. They believe that not only are they accepting or denying a student into their school, but their community as well. They want students to be of high character, and most think that a personal essay just is not enough anymore.
When looking into social media accounts of possible students, admissions offices can learn more about the applicant in a less traditional manner. They can learn about the people they spend time with, their family, and more specific things as well. This includes if they use inappropriate slurs, if they have any threatening posts and more.
If a student has a 4.0 GPA, a clean transcript, high test scores and extracurricular activities, they would typically be accepted in a heartbeat. However, now that colleges can look at social media accounts, this is not always the case. If a student has inappropriate content on their page, they could be declined when they would typically be accepted.
On the other hand, people believe that this search is an invasion of privacy, and it should not happen. This side of the argument believes that this source of media is private and should not affect a student’s acceptance into schools.
Colleges should be able to look at social media accounts. However, they should only turn to social media in certain situations or as a last resort.
If there are two applicants with similar qualifications and they can only accept one, colleges should be allowed to look at these prospective students’ social media accounts to help establish which person is a better fit for the school.
Additionally, students knowing that colleges view these social media accounts can benefit them in the long run. Knowing it could affect their future, students are less likely to post things that could ruin their lives later on. Posting inappropriate content not only could ruin their chances of getting into college, but job opportunities as well.
The truth is that colleges have been viewing possible candidates’ social media since these apps were established. Although there are disadvantages to this, it benefits both the students and colleges in the long run.
Ava Combs // Staff Writer