According to a Kaplan Test Prep survey of college admissions officers, Facebook and social networking sites can influence a college’s admissions decision:

  • 24 percent indicated that they have visited applicants’ Facebook or other social networking pages to learn more about the applicant, up from 10 percent just 3 years ago.
  • 20 percent indicated that they had Googled applicants
  • 12 percent indicated that what they found had a negative impact on an applicant’s chances for admission

Some of the negative information that admission officers found included essay plagiarism, vulgarities, alcohol consumption in photos, and other types of “illegal activities.” The survey also found that colleges are increasingly using online tools and social networking as a recruitment tool:

  • 85 percent of colleges use Facebook
  • 66 percent use YouTube

College admission officers surveyed also indicated some important points for applicants to consider:

  • 53 percent indicated that the biggest applicant killer was a low high school GPA
  • 19 percent indicated that the second biggest applicant killer was a low SAT or ACT score
  • 4 percent indicated that nearly half of students “overreach” in applying to college
  • 42 percent indicated that the best way for applicants to get off of the waitlist is to demonstrate that they improved their GPA during the second half of their senior year