The New York Times table of 2013 College Acceptance Rates indicates that college admissions is the most competitive ever with admissions rates as low as 13.67% at Amherst College, 14.48% at Bowdoin College, and in the single digits at all of the 8 Ivy League institutions such as Harvard at 5.79% of the 35,023 applicants. The U.S. News & World Reports listing of top 100 colleges and universities with the lowest acceptance rates (2012) identifies other colleges with single digit acceptance rates as Stanford (6.6%), Curtis Institute of Music (6.8%), U.S. Naval Academy (6.8%), Cooper Union (7.0%0, Juilliard (7.3%), MIT (9.0%), U.S. Military Academy at West Point (9.0%), College of the Ozarks (9.5%), and the U.S. Air Force Academy (9.9%).

With college admissions the most competitive ever, students should carefully consider that images and language they are projecting through such social media as Facebook®, Twitter®, and Instagram®. Natasha Singer notes in her New York Times article, “The Loved Your G.P.A. Then They Say Your Tweets” shares important comments from college admissions officers regarding social media and the impact it can have on a student’s college admissions decision. Although there are no statistics as to how many college admission officers visit prospective students’ social media pages, students should carefully consider the language and images they project and how the language or images may adversely impact their chances for college admissions or for employment opportunities.

Kat Cohen, in her Huffington Post article, “The Truth About Social Media and Admissions,” notes that a survey of college admissions officers indicated that 27 percent of respondents indicated they had performed an Internet search of prospective students, 26 percent had looked up applicants’ Facebook® Pages, and 35 percent indicated that they found something that negatively impacted an applicant’s chances of being admitted.

The U.S. News & World Reports’ article, “Can Facebook Posts Lead to College Rejections?” provides some important advice from college admissions counselors regarding a student’s social media profile:

  • A racy Facebook profile could ruin your college offs—why risk it?
  • Don’t take the chance—use good common sense
  • While social networking, portray yourself in a responsible manner
  • Facebook can hurt, but also help, when applying to college

Take the advice and use good common sense.