Students applying to college may want to check out their Facebook page first

Published: Tuesday, April 19 2011 12:01 p.m. MDT

Students may have to worry about one more thing when applying to colleges — their Facebook pages.

According to Schools.com, 70 percent of colleges surveyed said that candidates' Facebook profiles are a medium-to-high priority in the admissions process. But it's not all bad news. Sixty-two percent of college admission offices said the social media profile helped them get accepted while 38 percent said that students' profiles hurt their chances of admittance.

U.S. News asked college admission experts about this phenomenon earlier this month, trying to figure out whether Facebook or other social media really had that big an impact, especially with the high number of students applying to colleges.

The vice president of The College Board told students it's not worth the chance to have something on Facebook that reflects poorly on you. Students need to be smart about privacy settings, advised the CEO of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. And two other contributors commented that even if admission officers may not have time to check Facebook, peers, other applicants or parents may see some behavior on Facebook that is unbecoming of an applicant and report it to the college admission office.

Students at a boarding school in Connecticut were expelled in October 2010 after a thread they created that ridiculed other students was made public, reported The Daily Beast.

Money Talks News also had an article last week about the top five college application mistakes and named "ignoring your online identity" as No. 2.

"Get rid of any photos, messages, pagers or 'Likes' that may reflect badly on you," college admission expert Pam Proctor told the author.

Even students applying to business, law or medical school may want to make sure they are presented well on Facebook. According to Schools.com, 9 percent of business schools, 15 percent of law schools and 14 percent of medical schools admission officers reported looking at applicants' social media profiles during the application process.

Email: slenz@desnews.com

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