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How College Admissions Criteria Is Being Affected by Social Media

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There once was a time when high school students had the promise of getting into a college of their choosing if they made good grades, had good SAT scores, and participated in extracurricular activities. That time may now be coming to an end thanks to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. According to a recent study through Kaplan Test Prep, approximately 31 percent of the 381 college admission counselors that participated in the study admit to looking up their applicants Facebook pages (Singer BU3). More astounding than that statistic is that 30 percent of those who look at applicants Facebook pages admit that they had discovered information that negatively affected the student’s chances at being accepted (Singer BU3).…show more content…
Lawyers specializing in Social Media cases are also paying close attention to these new criteria for admissions into college. Many such as Bradley Shear are questioning potential flaws in the system which could lead to major legal troubles for some school using this practice. Shear was recently quoted in a New York Times article stating “colleges might erroneously identify the account of a person with the same name as a prospective student — or even mistake an impostor’s account — as belonging to the applicant, potentially leading to unfair treatment. “Often,” he added, “false and misleading content online is taken as fact” (Singer BU3). A law suit waiting to happen if a university falsely denies an applicant based upon information on social media websites that cannot be easily identified as accurate. Shears fear of colleges erroneously identifying applicants on social media websites may not be too far off. Students across the country who have caught wind of this new hidden practice used by some universities have begun to make pseudonym accounts with fake names and identities to deter colleges from looking into the real them (Singer). High School students across the country are being taught to be cautious and perhaps even sneaky with their social networking sites for fear that the college of their choosing participates in this not so publicized practice. Two different personas for one student, only one is the “college approved version”. That’s
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