Scott: For 17-year-old Emily Caramelli of West Hills, California, it’s taken a lot more than just cracking the books to get into college.
“I have been doing research about what to write about my personal statement, so I can come off as a cool person, so the colleges want to accept me.”
Scott: But she’s more than just book smart.
“I definitely know colleges are getting online and looking at your social media, because that is what’s out there. If they have the opportunity to be able to search you and find out what kind of person you are and what you like to do in your free time, then I think they would definitely take advantage of the opportunity.”
Scott: Caramelli is among the growing number of college-bound students who say their online reputation could be at stake when it comes to applying for college.
“I have heard, like, horror stories about colleges seeing someone with a drink in their hand and not accepting them, and I don’t really think that is fair, and I don’t want to put myself in that position.”
Scott: A nationwide survey done by Kaplan, who provides test prep and admissions help to students, talked to 320 college admissions officers and found that 24% admitted to using social networking sites to evaluate prospective students.
“Students today have so many obstacles getting into good colleges. Their social media profile shouldn’t be one of those obstacles.”
Scott: Safetyweb is an internet monitoring service that protects young people online, including their reputation.
“we scan millions of sites on a continual basis to make sure their personal information, and then feed back that information on how they look online to them.”
Scott: So, what can you do to make sure that the digital you is the real you when it comes to applying for college? Well, use a search engine to find out what’s out there about you.
“Enter some claims that you might have made on your application, and see what comes up.”
Scott: Check your profile photo.
“Make sure that that photo is you want an admissions officer to see.”
Scott: Clean up old your posts.
“Go back through your profiles, make sure all your posts that are there are ones that you want there.”
Scott: Make sure your accounts are set to private, so only the people you want to see your information can actually see it. And set limits.
“Set limits to the ability for people to tag you on their profiles, upload photos of you, or the like.”
Scott: And college-bound Caramelli knows it’s important to maintain her reputation.
“Well, I try to keep everything online really clean and appropriate. I always try to say, ‘What if my grandmother saw this?’”
Scott: Scott Evans, Channel One News.
- What is internet profiling?
- Do you think colleges should use social media to check up on their prospective students?
- What is the purpose of Safety Web?
- How does the service work?
- How can a student find out what his/her online reputation looks like?
- What is the basic “grandmother” rule?