University Admissions Scan Social Media

Following on from the Oxford proctor story in the prior post, I’ve come across a summary of a recent study [PDF] that finds (U.S.) university admissions departments make use of the various online social media to examine applicants. “The Game Has Changed: College Admissions Outpace Corporations in Embracing Social Media,” by Nora Barnes and Eric Mattson, finds, among other things, that:

A significant proportion of schools are beginning to research students via search engines (26%) and social networks (21%). While certainly the traditional factors will still play dominant roles in admissions decisions, no longer can students place damaging material online without potential consequences.

Barnes, a faculty member at the University of Connecticut, and Mattson, who is a marketing consultant, surveyed 453 universities and colleges.

I’d be surprised if this sort of research is being carried on in Canada, given what I understand to be our universities’ reliance on grades as the nearly exclusive basis for admission.

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