Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Facebook and Applying to College

I've heard many admissions "conspiracy theories" out there about all types of things. One that many seem to believe is that Admission Officers inspect Facebook to learn more about you when making our decisions. One major purpose of this perspectives blog is to debunk the myths and misconceptions out there about Dartmouth admissions. So let's debunk this one (at least as it relates to Dartmouth admissions. I don't and can't speak for other schools.)

Never would we use Facebook to learn more about you for making an admissions decision. Honestly, if I was on Facebook while reading applications I would be hard pressed to get through even a single file given how easily I'm amused by what my friends are doing.

Also, you should definitely set your privacy settings so only your friends can view your profile. Although Dartmouth was one of the very first schools to become part of Facebook (back when it was, we don't have any special connection that would allow us to see anything more than anyone else. We take privacy and confidentiality very seriously.

Also, the reliability of information on Facebook is questionable. We don't want to see the photos your friends tagged you in. Nor do we want to hear what your friends have to say about your status update at 3am.

How we do use Facebook: Discover Dartmouth
Currently the one way Facebook may be used in the college search process is through our Discover Dartmouth Facebook group. There's a wonderful group of current students who are available in the group to answer your questions and offer information about Dartmouth. If you have a question a student can't answer, they'll contact me or another admissions officer and we'll reply as soon as we can. It's the people who make Dartmouth special and we hope you'll use Discover Dartmouth to meet these people and hear directly from them.

Facebook is Your Space
We know the college admissions process is stressful enough. Please don't get yourself worked up about your Facebook profile. That's your space and we do not look at it for admissions. In fact we have a policy not to befriend applicants so that we respect your space in this process. If you're going to be concerned about what's on Facebook, be concerned because your mother, teacher, or possible employer could be watching (but I don't mean to start any more conspiracy theories). Relax. We're not.

I'm afraid to ask, but what other admissions theories have you heard? I'd love to provide the real story behind the myths and misconceptions.

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