Stoked to apply for the college of your dreams, you submit your extracurricular-filled, grade A marked transcript, hoping to impress the admissions office. Several months pass only for you to receive the dreaded rejection letter. You wonder what you did wrong when a friend informs you that college admissions workers sometimes look at your Facebook profile.
Looking back at those we-are-just-having-fun photos and who-cares comments, you realize your profile would not impress anyone.
“Four out of every five college admissions offices use the social network to recruit students,” according to the Kaplan Test Prep’s 2010 survey.
Facebook is a social site, not a portfolio. You should be able to freely post and comment without worry. We are students, not robots. Part of the thrill of being young is having fun, and Facebook documents that.
It’s bad enough that parents have joined. It’s bad enough that employers judge you based on your profile. Now, colleges are joining the adult-awareness wave.
We like to have an outlet that allows us to be who we are-young adults. Just because we might not have the most appropriate conversations or photos, it does not reflect what we will bring to an university.
When it comes to deciding new admissions, colleges should stick to the old routine, looking at grades and extracurriculars. You should be let in based on what you can bring academically to the school.
If you can maintain high grades while partying, you would be an asset. You show that you can have fun, while being responsible.
If the school is worried about safety, perform a background check. It might prove more useful anyways, as some students are smart enough to hide any criminal activity from their profiles.
You should not have to make your profile professional. It should not be a factor at all. What you say or do on Facebook should not decide whether or not a college accepts you.
“Students need to be accountable for their actions,” said Scott Anderson, St. George’s Independent School’s director of college guidance, in John Hechinger’s Wall Street Journal article, “College Applicants, Beware: Your Facebook Page Is Showing.” When posting on Facebook or Myspace, students should be thinking, “Is this something you want your grandmother to see?”
Facebook should not hold such a huge weight. It should be strictly for social purposes only.