In honor of Data Privacy Day here are 5 essential tips to ensure your social media accounts and digital life is not used by college admissions officials to reject your application or revoke your offer.
1) Limit Your Public Social Media Profiles
Having a robust digital foot print doesn’t give you a leg up during the college admissions process. No college has ever rejected an applicant or revoked an offer because a candidate has a minimal digital foot print. However, many colleges including Harvard have rejected candidates or revoked offers because an applicant’s social media profile contains content that a member of their admissions committee deems inappropriate.
2) Limit Connecting With Your Dream Colleges On Social Media
Colleges are encouraging applicants to connect with them via Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, etc. not so you can see how hip and cool the school is but so they can review all of your digital activities to reject you or revoke your offer. Colleges don’t say, you have a great Twitter account, we are going to accept you or you will now be eligible for a $250,000 scholarship; instead, they will reject you or revoke your offer because of an alleged politically incorrect post.
3) Limit Connecting With College Admissions Officials On Social Media
Be careful about connecting via your personal social media accounts with individual members of the admissions committee or someone who interviews you as part of the application process. All of your Likes, Retweets, Posts, Videos, Emojis, LOLs will be factored into your application and that may lead to a rejection or an offer being revoked.
4) Know Which States Ban Colleges From Being Able To Request Access To Your Personal Social Media Accounts
Its imperative to know which states ban colleges from being able to ask for access to your personal social media accounts. There are approximately 16 states that ban colleges from being able to request access to your personal social media accounts. Massachusetts has so far resisted this legislation because Harvard and its allies have actively lobbied against giving their applicants and students these protections so they can continue to revoke offers from students for social media posts they deem politically incorrect.
5) Limit clicking on Email Links That Contain Tracking Bugs
You need to be well versed in how to spot email tracking bugs and beacons because colleges such as Harvard are using them to secretly learn what your social media usernames are to track you and spy on your Internet Search History.
The bottom line is be vigilant. Colleges are using the digital data they collect outside of your application to reject or revoke offers so be careful. Colleges don’t want to have to deal with the fall out of accepting someone who has digital content that anyone may deem controversial or inappropriate.
In today’s politically correct world run amok, what one may deem innocent another may deem controversial and inappropriate. Therefore, use caution when interacting with your dream college online. Remember, its better to stay silent and be thought an introvert than to remove all doubt and post too much out loud. (My take off of Mark Twain’s famous line about staying silent).