Local News

Colleges check social networking sites of applicants

Posted February 4, 2010
Updated February 5, 2010

— North Carolina State University senior Jennifer Thomas doesn’t just post anything on her Facebook page.

“Anyone can go on your page and look at it,” she said. “I don’t think people realize those things are gonna stay around.”

Thomas Griffin, director of undergraduate admissions at NCSU, said that in rare cases when admission officials have serious questions about a applicant, they look them up on social networking Web sites Facebook or MySpace.

“Social media is just one more way to verify information about students,” Griffin said. “They may reinforce our concerns.”

Colleges check applicant Facebook profiles Colleges check applicant Facebook profiles

Through social networking profiles, officials can see photos, job history and status updates.

“If their Web site shows them in some conduct we deem inappropriate for our students, that could be a red flag for us,” Griffin said.

Griffin said that while there are about 24,000 applicants in a typical cycle, the school only checks the Web pages of a few. The tool, though, might be used more in the future, he said.

Lauren Overton said her fellow students post “anything and everything you can imagine” on their social networking sites.

“It is really kind of scary for jobs and schools to look into that,” Overton said.

Mentioning certain things could hurt your chances of getting a job or getting into a certain school. Mentioning partying, drinking, fighting or a past history with the law could hurt your image with a college admissions office.

Experts say people should consider their Web page as important as their application.


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  • carolinaprincess62 Feb 5, 2010

    I also remove tags when people tag me.

  • antb Feb 5, 2010

    Set to private? People wake up! It's the internet!!!

  • Fed-up29 Feb 5, 2010

    thats why i do not tag photos and only post on peeps pages if they are set to private and only accept peeps i know and keep their stuff private.

  • Lasata Feb 5, 2010

    Ambergail where do you work where you have to have a facebook page??

  • xandevalinour Feb 5, 2010

    a few things you should no...just because you have your profile set to private, does not mean things you post on others pages are private, also anything someone else posts about you elsewhere is not private

    simply doing a search with your name on a social network search tab will show me all the results i might need to find out information on you

    picture taggin enables me to see in any picture your in thats on a social network site

    so you just keep thinking your private setting keeps you safe

    be smart dont tell others, or post anything about your self you wouldnt want your mom to see and youll be fine...thats my rule of thumb

  • happymom Feb 5, 2010

    I've BEEN trying to tell my nieces and nephews this. I have a Facebook account and even though it is set to private and I am selective about who I friend, I don't post anything on it that I wouldn't mind seeing published on the front page of the N&O. It is never a good thing to broadcast your personal life to the general public, no matter how boring you may think your life is.

  • sonicbluezx3 Feb 5, 2010

    Yeah that's why mine is set to private on everything. Only people who are friends can see my profile.

  • FromClayton Feb 5, 2010

    psssss. before i hire people i check their facebook too. as long as they have fun within limits i hire them, if they are into really bad things....or don't even have a facebook i make a note of that. it wont usually keep them from getting the job, but it does send a red flag. In my field, I EXPECT you to have a facebook...and use it wisely.

  • Shaw Bears 95 Feb 5, 2010


    I do have it all set to private only friends can see it. but like u said I am double checking it though. b/c I'm keep hearing people say that companies can still view your FB. And if there's another way I wanna know.

    Many people don't know this but in Novem

  • FE Feb 5, 2010

    It's kinda like blocking or going private on GOLO, except instead of getting "promoted" you can potentially miss a chance at college or a job.

    Just don't post stupid/inappropriate stuff in the first place and there is never a problem.