Are college-bound students leaving social media?

Sixty-seven percent of students say they still use Facebook, but that’s a drop of 12 percentage points from last year.

A new survey has found sharp decreases in the number of college-bound high school juniors and seniors who use social media sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Google Plus.

The 2013 E-Expectations Report, conducted by Noel-Levitz, OmniUpdate, CollegeWeekLive, and NRCCUA during March and April, examined how social media and mobile devices are affecting students’ search for the right college. About 2,000 students participated in the survey.

Sixty-seven percent of the respondents said they still use Facebook, but that’s a drop of 12 percentage points from last year. In a webinar announcing the findings, Stephanie Geyer, Noel-Levitz’s associate vice president, cautioned admissions offices from reacting too rashly based on the results.

“Please do not run out of the room screaming that you need to shut down your Facebook presence,” Geyer said. “That is not my message today. My message is that the sands are shifting and we need to keep watching and seeing what’s going on.”

Older transfer and adult students are on Facebook more than ever, she said, and two-thirds of college-bound juniors and seniors still use the website.

An even larger drop was found in the percentage of respondents who said they use YouTube. In 2012, 62 percent of students said they used the video site. This year, that percentage fell to 32 percent. Geyer said the most surprising change was the drop in students using Google Plus.

See Page 2 to see which forms of social media made gains among high school juniors and seniors this year.

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