Beware the social watchers who could decide your fate

1 May 2018

Take a good hard look at your social footprint before pressing Send on that hostel or scholarship application. If it could do with a bit of a clense, a bit of a polish, spend the time.

It’s a good bet that lots more than your NCEA credits and school references will be getting reviewed when you slide that hostel/course/scholarship application in this year. How about your social footprint too?

Your social is now fair game

A survey in the US last year found that over two thirds (68%) of admissions officers from 388 national, and regional colleges or universities believe that social media profiles are “fair game”. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter footprints are now potentially part of the decision for institutions, and nearly 30% surveyed say they do this now.

Almost 10% of the admissions officers surveyed reported they had revoked an incoming student’s offer of a place because of what they found on social AFTER they had been accepted. It happened to 10 would-be students at Harvard last year.

Possibly a little more surprising is that 70% of the high school students polled on the subject think it’s OK for the universities or application recipients to scope them out socially.

Students getting harder to find

Social fashions can and do change, and the rise in the number of students using Snapchat – a platform without records/archives – seems to have come from Facebook mainly. Also, plenty of students are tech savvy enough to hide or curate their social footprints. Basically if you want to be found, you likely will be, but if you don’t there’s a few things you can do about it.

Check out our tips for keeping your online identity safe here.