Do college admissions officers look at your Facebook profile?

At a seminar last week, a parent asked me if college admissions officers will look at the Facebook pages of their applicants.

My answer–"Of course they do."

No, not all admissions officers.  And no college has an institutional policy for admissions officers to check Facebook profiles of all their applicants.  

But most college admissions officers are in their early to mid twenties.  They've got Facebook pages of their own.  And if they're particularly intrigued by an applicant, or if their curiosity is piqued for any reason and they'd like to know more, why wouldn't they Google that kid?  If a Facebook page popped up, why wouldn't they click into it?  Wouldn't you?  I would.

When someone applies for a job here at Collegewise and we're thinking about interviewing him or her, the first thing I do is Google the name.  And if they've got a Facebook page, you can bet I'm clicking into it.  It's not policy; it's just me satisfying my curiosity. 

You can debate whether or not it's fair or professional for admissions officers to do it, but the reality is that what you put up online is public information for anyone who navigates to that site.  If you don't want the public to have it, don't put up the information. 

So if you've got a Facebook page, keep everything private.  While you're at it, I'd be vigilant about what pictures you let your friends post of you on any website, Facebook or otherwise.  Once someone snaps this and posts it to the internet, it's never, ever going away.