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College & Workforce Readiness

Students Not Bothered That Colleges Are Checking Them Out Online More

By Caralee J. Adams — November 01, 2013 1 min read

College admissions officers are searching online for information about their applicants more than ever, but most students are not concerned.

A new survey by Kaplan Test Prep released Thursday shows that 29 percent of college admissions officers say they Googled a prospective student or looked at an applicant’s social networking page, up from about 27 percent last year and just 10 percent in 2008.

At the same time, just 30 percent say they found something online that hurt the applicant’s chances of admission, down from 35 percent in 2012.

Students don’t appear bothered by the practice. When asked how worried they would be if a college representative did an online search of them, a separate Kaplan student survey discovered 50 percent would “not be at all concerned”, 27 percent would “not be too concerned”, and only 14 percent would be “very concerned.”

Students are becoming more savvy about their digial footprint and setting up privacy settings to limit access to their personal information online, Kaplan officials suggested in a press release about the survey. They advise students run themselves through online search engines before applying to college to be aware of how their information might be perceived by those reviewing their application..

The 2013 survey was based on a telephone poll of about 380 admissions officers this summer and an email poll of about 420 Kaplan students who took college admissions tests earlier this year.

A version of this news article first appeared in the College Bound blog.