Students spend four years of their life trying to make themselves appear perfect. They routinely sprint through jam-packed daily schedules, tackling big servings of academic work plus giant heaps of extracurricular activity in a frenetic tizzy of commitments. All of this simply to get admitted into their dream college. And while a 4.0 and a 32 on the ACT may help one’s chances of getting accepted, colleges today are focusing more on the holistic view of things. They look at more than just test scores to ensure they are admitting a well-rounded student, from your latest tweets to your Facebook post back from 2007.
Colleges plow through thousands of applications each year scouring for the perfect candidate. They hand-select each admission, in order to ensure the student is an accurate portrayal of their school and what it stands for.Going through such heaps of applications means colleges can afford to be selective. They can afford to consult google to ensure they are making the right decisions regarding admissions.Think of it like this…there are 2 students that a college is vacillating between. Both have the right credentials and over a 4.0. How does the college decide which one they are going to admit? Well…if one is posting inappropriate pictures on their facebooks every night…the decision seems crystal clear. Social media is a tool and colleges are simply utilizing it to make the admission process a little easier.
Colleges are not being “mean” when they scroll through your posts on social media. They are not out to get you; they simply want to make sure they are admitting the best of the best to their schools. Think of it like a background check…Colleges have the right to know if a future student is posting racial slurs or inappropriate pictures. They should be aware of the digital footprint you have created over the years and the way that you represent yourself outside of school. Your transcript may be cumulative, but so is your facebook.
Colleges just want to do what is best for the future of their school and community. Maybe this new approach to selecting applicants can serve as a lesson to students. It is imperative that high-schoolers realize that nothing disappears forever just because you press the ‘delete’ button. That ignorant twitter post or that scandalous instagram picture has not simply “disappeared” into cyberspace; it has not disintegrated. Nothing is safe on social media, and colleges are just simply reiterating this point. If a high-schooler is dumb enough to post a racy picture on their Instagram, maybe they are not mature enough to handle the pressures of such a prestigious college anyway.
While many may argue it is unfair for colleges to dig through your social media, there is a quite simple solution: pause before posting. Take a step back from the bubble that the internet has encompassed many in and realize that social media is your voice… it is your digital identity. It is rather naive to ask colleges not to look at something so prevalent in the Twenty-first century. So remember…colleges are not trying to be the big bad wolf. They are simply reiterating the point that in the real world… there is no delete button. The internet, like life, is written in ink…not a pencil.