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Could Facebook Hurt Your Chances To Get Into College?

College admissions offices are scanning students' social media accounts.

Could the posts on your teen's Facebook page hurt his or her chances to get into college? Possibly.

According to a report on ABC World News , with annual admissions getting more and more competitive some schools have resorted to skimming social media pages to scope out potential students.

"Most kids have no idea how important it is that their profile[s] online -- Twitter, Facebook, other social media spaces -- need to be appropriate for the admissions process," said Dean Skarlis, president of The College Advisor of New York, to ABC World News. "Most kids don't even realize what's appropriate and what's not because they're 16, 17 and their idea of what might be appropriate is very different than that of a college admissions person."

The trend is on the rise in area colleges, according to a Forbes.com report. The magazine says that only 15 percent of American colleges currently have a written policy on social media pages being reviewed by admissions staff, but many are starting to use the method.

"The percentage that said they discovered something that negatively impacted an applicant's chances of getting into school nearly tripled, from 12 percent to 35 percent, this year," said the Forbes.com report.

While Montgomery County's colleges including Penn State Abington , Gwynedd-Mercy and Ursinus College  do not mention social media account reviews in their admissions processes, many of the nation's schools are adopting the policy.

Forbes says the offenses college admissions officers found most problematic included vulgarity, drinking in photos or any illegal activities.

ABC World News' report recommended tips such as tightening your privacy settings, watching what friends post or tag you in, and occasionally searching for yourself in Google. For the full report, visit How To Use Social Media To Get into College.

Karla Yeager Loughead October 20, 2012 at 11:05 AM
I don't know about colleges, but what was in Facebook and the internet was the difference between my son getting his job and another applicant not getting it.

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