Colleges are NOT Combing through Your Social Media!

A recent New York Times article on colleges' use of social media in the application process -- They Loved Your G.P.A. Then They Saw Your Tweets -- has generated a lot of hysterical headlines in the last few days. So, thank goodness, today Jeannine Lalonde, Senior Assistant Dean of Admission at the University of Virginia  has an excellent post on her blog "Notes from Peabody" about how University of Virginia "uses" social media -- How I Use Social Media, Part 1. See? Even the title is sincere and direct -- it's not trying to make you panic about one more thing in the application process. That's so refreshing! (And we love Ceiling Cat -- we don't think she's creepy!) Granted, Lalonde is talking specifically about UVA. But in our experience most colleges are doing what they're doing. Or, as Lalonde summed up:

1. I like social media.

2. I don't have time to search for students on the internet.

3. If you include #UVA in a tweet or photo, you're asking our entire community to see it.


Bottom line: Most admission offices do not routinely follow a student's digital trail -- this is what the Kaplan survey actually reported, contrary to most headlines. But students should think about their use of social media and web presence -- including what others are saying about them online.

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