Although more and more universities are using social media sites to vet college applicants, the UA continues to make its annual student selection based only on applications.
Kaplan Test Prep’s 2013 Survey of College Admissions Officers showed that 31 percent of admissions officers visited an applicant’s social networking page to learn more about them. This is a 5 percent increase from the 2012 survey.
However, Arezu Corella, the director of undergraduate admissions processing, said UA admissions looks at only the information prospective students provide, such as whether they took challenging coursework, volunteered or held a job in high school. Corella added that a student’s success is determined by their academics.
“It’s really about their ability to be successful academically and do well at the institution,” Corella said. “The social components of the choices they make … outside of the classroom, is part of their personal life.”
Kasey Urquidez, the associate vice president for Student Affairs and dean of undergraduate admissions, said the UA would never make it a point to search a student’s social media site to determine admission.
“We’re looking at the full package that the student submitted to us,” Urquidez said. “We’re not going out and actively seeking social media that a student may have posted about or on.”
While students will sometimes reach out to the UA Office of Admissions through social media, admissions officers do not go to their page to learn more about the student, Urquidez said.
However, Briar Aben, a freshman studying gender and women’s studies, said students should still be careful about what they post online.
“I don’t have anything that I’m afraid to post on Facebook,” Aben said. “I know people are looking at it.”
Urquidez said while it’s ultimately the decision of each university whether or not to consider prospective students’ online presence, students should be cautious because businesses also turn to social media to learn more about applicants. Urquidez advised students to only put information on the Internet that they would be comfortable having a close relative see.
“I think that students just need to really be aware … that it could be a bad thing for them, way down the road, if they’re putting things out there that are inappropriate,” Urquidez said.
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