The Harbinger Online

Students Consider How Facebook Affects College Applications

Principal – Dr. Karl Krawitz

Do you often see Facebook impacting kids in a negative way?

Definitely, I think that’s the thing that most students aren’t aware of because what we are seeing is colleges, corporations, companies and military personnel doing background checks to get a sense of the person they are trying to hire. If someone has a negative page, then chances are that company or university will most likely not consider their application. We are seeing more of that lately.

Do you think it is fair to decide on whether the applicant should be accepted by their Facebook?

No, because at the same time I think you’ll see those companies trying to get a sense of that person. They can get an idea of a person, but they will be reluctant if they know people can hack into the sites and create phony situations. I have a perception of all of the students. I will say in my mind that they wouldn’t be out there doing stuff they do, but reality tells me I am living in a fantasy world. It is such a tough issue because you are trying to guard yourself. Unfortunately, it will never go away and I think that’s what haunts kids.

Do you ever worry about what students put on their Facebook?

I really do, I don’t know why students put their personal life on social media. Right now, I think students really have to go back and assess what they have on Facebook. You only have to have it backfire on you and then it seems like these people are trailing you. I have seen more negative than I have seen the good and maybe that’s being magnified too much.

KU Assistant Director of Communications – Lauren Erickson

Does KU look at an applicant’s Facebook?

It is not a part of our application review process. We do a lot with the social media, but it is not related to a students admission to KU. Our admission is solely based on students applications, materials and whether or not they meet our criteria. We engage students and get to know them through Facebook and Twitter, but we don’t look at their profiles on whether or not they should be accepted.

What is your main concern when it comes to Facebook?

In general, I think it is really important for anyone, especially students, to remember that Facebook is public.  I always encourage students and even college students to turn security settings up really high on social media so they know exactly who is seeing the information they are putting out there. The whole world can see what you put up for your friends and family without you wanting them to see it or even knowing they can see it. It could be a future employer or community group who looks at it and you never know what they are going to find. It is important to keep your security settings up and to know who you are talking to.

Is it OK to not let a student into a university based off something you have seen on Facebook?

I think it’s only fair that colleges and universities make it clear what they are considering when they look at a student for admission. If a school said they were going to look at everything they can find on students and the students knew that was how they were being considered then I think it’s fair game. I think it’s important for schools to be up front with what they are requiring.

Senior – Camille Goehausen

Why do you have your profile on private?

It’s been on private because I get creeped out sometimes. I don’t know all of my friends and I don’t want them to be able to see my pictures. I haven’t worried about colleges looking at my Facebook until this year, but I don’t think I have anything on my page that would hurt me too bad if colleges did look at it. I am also friends with a lot of parents and possible future people I could work for in the future so I think that’s another reason why my friends and I are on private. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Have you thought about the consequences that can occur because of Facebook?

Yes I have, especially now because I know there have been multiple instances of people getting in trouble with the school because of pictures, but I personally don’t think I have anything inappropriate. I just think it’s better to be safe about it.

Do you think Facebook affects kids in a negative way?

I think it can. People can take things out of context on Facebook and be bullied through Facebook, but I also think there are a lot of positives to it. Sometimes people post things without really thinking about what they are posting.

What is your opinion on colleges looking at Facebook?

I don’t think it’s necessary. Since Facebook is becoming so huge in our lives, it might be a good idea to look at it, they shouldn’t decide whether or not a student should be accepted into their program based on what they see on a profile though.
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