Why colleges shouldn’t check online life of applicants

Yes, Jacob and Sophia and Emma and Mason and all you other students planning to apply to college some year soon: Your online life can affect your chances of getting into the school of your dreams — or any school at all. Fair or not, The Washington Post reports.

According to a new survey, more college admissions officers than ever are checking out applicants by looking on the Internet and seeing what they’ve been up to. The annual survey, by Kaplan Test Prep, says that 29 percent of those who responded to a phone survey said they had Googled an applicant — up from 27 percent last year — and 31 percent said they checked out a student’s Facebook or other social networking page, up from 26 percent last year.

There was, though,  a drop — from 35 percent in 2012 to 30 percent in 2013 — in the number of admissions officers who said that they had made online discoveries that harmed a student’s chances of being admitted.

College admissions officers are looking for the things you’d expect them to be looking for: bad judgment, bad language, bad behavior.

… The college admissions survey, which began in 2008, was taken by phone between July and August 2013, with 381 admissions officers from the nation’s top national, regional and liberal arts colleges and universities being questioned.

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