University admission officials may turn to Facebook

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Each year students from around the school district as well as administrators meet at the Strength in Voices event. Ideas are exchanged on what's working, what's not, and what improvements can be made.

For Wooster High School Senior Jonah Woeling, this will look good on his college application form. But he's also keenly aware that his social media pages may also be of interest.

“When you analyze these things where people are posting or how they want to appear on social media, you get a very good idea of who they are realistically,” says Woelin.

It's a new world out there for high school seniors applying to colleges and universities. According to Kaplan Test Prep, 35% of college admissions officers surveyed say they check applicants' social media.

Such information could be a benefit to students who served on panels or clubs or even organizations outside of their high schools. But posts could also hinder students if they are offensive. But that may be not such an easy call to make.

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So for one that might be fine. For somebody else, it might not be,” says Steve Maples, Ph.D, and UNR Admissions Director.

That's one reason Maples says a majority of colleges and universities don't check an applicant's social media. Another reason: resources. Maples says at UNR alone they get 10,000 applications a year; there isn't enough staff to check all those social media pages.

“No, no way you could look at every single one of those,” says Maples.

While at most universities or colleges, admissions officers don't check social media, that same policy may or may not apply to scholarships, internships, or jobs on campus.

A rejection in those areas could be based on your social media page, which you won't realize until it’s too late.