FOR THE WEEK OF MAY 25, 2009
Facebook show and tell can sabotage college admission
Find coverage of another issue involving privacy, ethics or online activities.
Look for social media links or mentions in news reports. Do any columnists, or the paper itself, have a fan page that's promoted?
The Twitter micro-blogging service also is a popular way to connect with friends and keep up with breaking news directly from some journalists. Does this paper or any reporter share a Twitter address?
An important lesson for high school students has nothing to do with texts, tests or teachers. The lesson is to watch what you brag about and bare on social media or a personal blog. A bodacious MySpace photo or indiscreet Facebook post may be a deal-blocker in the eyes of campus admissions officers, who sometimes look at online profiles.
About a quarter of colleges and universities check prospective students' social network pages before offering admission or scholarships, says a survey released last month. "Most colleges will do whatever it takes to recruit the right type of student to their respective institution," explains Mark D. Weinstein, dean of enrollment at Grace College in Winona Lake, Ind.
Many employers also tap keyboards for background checks on job applicants, who could damage or derail themselves with racy videos, juvenile blog entries or albums full of party animal snaps. At some universities and corporations, applicants are asked for a link to their Facebook or MySpace pages.
Educator says: "No school wants to give a prestigious scholarship to someone standing on a beer keg and wearing a lampshade." -- Nora Ganim Barnes, University of Massachusetts marketing professor
Student says: "I was in a sorority, so maybe there are some racy pics that people shouldn't see, but for the most part I'll take those down. If everyone can't see it, maybe it shouldn't be out there." -- Maggie Attashian, University of Nevada-Reno
Admissions counselor says: "Don't post anything that you don't want your mother or father or college admission officer to see." -- David Hawkins, director of public policy and research, National Association for College Admission Counseling
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