Facebook Used by College Admissions Offices

September 10, 2007

Companies have been using Facebook when making hiring decisions. As Facebook spreads beyond just college students, so are its uses.

The Brown Daily Herald reports:

“We don’t use Facebook unless someone says there’s something we should look at,” said Dean of Admission James Miller ’73. But Miller conceded that admission officers take outside tips seriously. “Anything we get, we follow up on,” he said. Associate Director of College Admission Elisha Anderson ’98 agreed with Miller. There is a “limit to what we can appropriately judge people on,” he said, but added, “You have to remember (Facebook) is a public place.” He said there was “maybe one case” in which Facebook yielded information that affected an admission decision.

It should be noted, though, that certain applicants are actually trying to show off their profiles:

Sometimes admission officers receive friend requests on Facebook from applicants, Anderson said, noting that accepting the requests “would appear weird.”

Sending those requests in the first place is probably more weird.


Admissions Offices Open Up Through Blogs

March 21, 2007

Last August, Cornell launched the Life on the Hill project to allow prospective students get a feel for campus life. While this initiative faced criticism from independent bloggers, it was an interesting move nonetheless.

It turns out colleges have been exploring other ways of using blogs to attract applicants. Admissions offices, traditionally shrouded in mystery, are beginning to open up. Yale Daily News sums it up:

In recent years, the increasingly intense college search process has given rise to online forums in which college-bound seniors swap advice, statistics, and stories in order to increase their chances of acceptance to top-tier schools. Now, some colleges are bringing information to the students in the form of behind-the-scenes blogs and message boards that offer a revealing look at what goes on inside America’s most selective admissions offices.

Yale does not have an admissions blog and has no plans for one. A quick search reveals that neither does any other Ivy League school. The only exception is Cornell’s College of Engineering.

Here is a small sample of schools jumping on the admissions blog bandwagon:
Bryn Mawr – www.brynmawr.edu/admissions/blog
Case Western – blog.case.edu/admission
Chicago – uncommonapplication07-08.blogspot.com
Connecticut College – admissionblog.conncoll.edu
Cornell (Engineering) – cornellengineeringadmissions-jill.blogspot.com
Johns Hopkins – hopkins.typepad.com
MIT – www.mitadmissions.org/blogs.shtml
Olin College – admissionblog.olin.edu
Oregon State – oregonstate.edu/admissions/blog
SUNY Stony Brook – sbuchris.blogspot.com
UCLA – blog.admissions.ucla.edu
UVA – uvaadmission.blogspot.com

It’s certainly refreshing to see schools make a legitimate attempt to connect with the potential future students during the stressful application process. I can only hope that more colleges follow their example.