Colleges Use Social Media to Research Prospective Students - 8 News NOW

Colleges Use Social Media to Research Prospective Students

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LAS VEGAS - Some prospective college students are discovering their social media interactions are hurting their chances of getting into college.

In recent years, an increasing number of employers have researched applicants by examining their social media pages. Now, colleges and universities are doing the same with prospective students.

Some college admissions officers are looking at more than just an applicant's essay or grade point average to see if the applicant should be accepted at their school.

So far, social media monitoring isn't taking place on a large scale at southern Nevada colleges and universities, but students should still take care when posting online.

Advisors at the Nevada State College Career Services Center teach students to protect their images and/or brands.

Students should be smart about their postings and opinions on social media and be mindful that others may see those comments. It's an important lesson for this generation, which grew up with computers and technology.

"They call them digital natives. They've grown up with this, and so it's common for them," said Nevada State College Director of Career Services Cindy Stella. "I think it's almost like when you watch a reality show, and you're on a reality show, you start to ignore the cameras, and so I think they're so used to social media being a part of their lives, they don't realize that people are watching and what they say really reflects upon themselves."

Stella tells students to search themselves on Google and see what surfaces. She says to check your privacy settings to know which friends are tagging you.

Using social media channels the right way can mean the difference between a positive and negative first impression.

The New York Times reports out of 381 college admissions officers surveyed this year, 31 percent went to an applicant's Facebook or other social media page. Thirty percent of admissions officers said they found something that negatively affected the applicant's chances of getting into school.

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