Number of college applications affected by social media triples

In 2008, only 10 percent of colleges checked applicants’ Facebook pages; now, one in four do.

College applicants shouldn’t shut down their various social media accounts, experts said, but they should heavily edit their online comments, photos, and videos, as thousands of applications were marred last year by scandalous Facebook and Twitter activity.

It’s no secret that college and university admissions officers run semi-frequent social media checks of prospective students, but the practice has turned increasingly dismal for students who failed, in one way or another, to exercise Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube caution.

Admissions officers who responded to a national survey this fall said the percentage of applications that had been negatively affected by social media searches had nearly tripled, from 12 percent in 2010 to 35 percent in 2011.…Read More

Experts: Go all in with Facebook for college admissions—or don’t bother

Two percent of colleges said they don’t use Facebook for admissions purposes.

Colleges and universities that don’t have the staff resources to consistently update an admissions-based Facebook page shouldn’t be on the site at all, social media experts said.

Varsity Outreach, an organization that documents higher education’s use of social networking, released a report Sept. 12 that shows a steady uptick in the number of schools using the world’s most popular social network to attract and engage prospective students.

Eighty-six percent of the 160 campuses surveyed said they use Facebook as an online admissions tool, up from 79 percent in 2011. The survey showed a sharp increase in colleges that target admitted students on Facebook: Eight in 10 colleges connect with recruits and admits, helping those who have already gained admittance to connect with other freshmen.…Read More

Social media saves money, boosts efficiency for college recruiters

A new study examines social media’s impact on college spending.

It’s no secret that teenagers today practically live online—so online is where college recruiters should go to find potential students, reveals a study about increased social media use among admissions officers at U.S. colleges and universities.

The Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth this month released a study that indicates significant changes in recruiting tactics as higher education warms up to social media.

The newly released data show for the first time that using social media cuts costs for college recruiters, and as a result, 86 percent of surveyed schools plan to increase investments in these tools during the next year.…Read More

Do colleges court those least in need of education?

Several colleges recently announced triumphantly that their acceptance rates had set a new record – as low as, in some cases, 6 or 7 percent. I’m still waiting for someone to explain why that is a good thing, says Mark Gordon, president of Defiance College, for the Washington Post. Why is it a victory that a college succeeds in seeking out applications from thousands of students, and then doesn’t accept almost 95 percent of those applicants? Whom exactly is that helping? As president of Defiance College, I’m not naïve about how the admissions process works. And, if you spoke to many presidents, they would tell you that the admissions process at many colleges has been profoundly impacted by the national rankings issued by publications such as U.S. News & World Report, to name the best-known. A few months after I started as president at Defiance in 2009, the new rankings came out, and Defiance had done very well. I was urged to issue a press release touting our success. Instead, I wrote a column entitled, “Defiance College Just Shot Up in the Rankings: Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Care.”

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A new college admissions bible

There are countless books that aim to help students successfully apply to the college or university of their dreams, some offering better advice than others, reports the Washington Post. Here is a new book jam-packed with information on every aspect of the admissions process, co-authored by someone who should know what she is talking about: Robin Mamlet, former admissions director at Stanford University and Swarthmore College…

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SAT cheating scandal: Are stakes getting too high for college admission?

The case of a Great Neck, N.Y., man accused of being paid to take the SAT for high school students is once again prompting questions nationwide about how much cheating goes on in the world of high-stakes testing, reports the Christian Science Monitor. It’s also renewing concerns that the pressure placed on students to score well on a single test, which plays a big role in determining the academic future for so many high-schoolers, may be encouraging them to cheat…

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Five biggest myths about college admissions

Now that acceptance and rejection letters have all been mailed, students and parents are taking stock of their lot. Some are happy, but a great many more probably feel disappointed. An enormous amount of energy and anxiety gets expended trying to get into college, but the truth is that the admissions process is much more haphazard than people like to think, reports TIME. The good news? In the long run it’s generally less important, too. Here are the five biggest myths about this annual angst-a-thon:

Myth #1. Getting rejected means you’re just not [insert school name here] material…

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F-Bombs and ‘Jorts’: Craziest college rejection reasons

In the toughest college admission season on record, acceptance rates plummeted at many schools, including the Ivy League. Kristina Dell explores some of the arbitrary and whimsical reasons that applicants were rejected, reports the Daily Beast. For high-school seniors, the stress level of the past two weeks hit an all-time high last Wednesday when Ivy League decisions came out. You’ve probably heard by now that for many schools, this year was the toughest college admission season on record. Take a look at the grisly acceptance rates: Harvard, 6.2 percent; Columbia, 6.9; Yale, 7.4; Princeton, 8.4; Brown, 8.7; Dartmouth 9.7; University of Pennsylvania, 12.3; and Cornell, 18. Even a school like San Diego State—best known for its beer and basketball-loving student body–saw its acceptance rate plummet to a jaw-dropping 10 percent…

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10 college admissions trends

The toughest college admissions year on record is reaching its apex this week as nervous seniors obsessively check their email or a website to discover their fates, reports the Daily Beast. The hotter-than-ever Ivy League schools, which all had a record number of applicants this year, will notify the lucky ones at 5 p.m. Wednesday. It has been an especially stressful process this year. The weak economy and a wider acceptance of the common application—Columbia used it for the first time this year and had a 32 percent jump in applicants over last year—has meant the competition is steeper than ever. Over the past five years, applications to the eight Ivy League schools plus MIT and Stanford skyrocketed from just over 200,000 applications to almost 300,000 early and regular applications, for a total increase of more than 40 percent, according to Michele Hernandez, president of Hernandez College Consulting…

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