Facebook: Fair or Foul?


A new report by the Kaplan Test Prep showed that up to 83% of colleges are checking social media postings to pre-screen applicants. According to Kaplan, as many as 35% of these students are being rejected due to posting something unfavorable. So, what exactly are the admission directors looking for?

  • Risque or sexually explicit photos
  • Cursing, vulgar, or inappropriate language (watch for the F word!)
  • Bullying, racist, or bigoted messages
  • Drugs or alcohol


So, as a parent, how do you guide your high schooler in their Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and YouTube, etc. postings? Try the balanced approach.

“Take This Down” and “Put This Up”

Saying, “No, no, no” all the time will not work with your teenager. Instead try to teach balance and good judgement. Look for teachable moments to say, “Take this down” and then “Put this up” instead. Discuss the reasons why one post is better than another, and keep reminding your teen that the college they want to attend will be looking at these postings, too. Take these photos for example:

Take this down.
Put this up.

By looking at each and every Facebook photo, Instagram, Twitpic, etc. through the lens of college admission, you can create a social media portfolio that will actually help your teen get into the college of their choice.


  • Awards
  • Volunteer work
  • Links to articles about your teen
  • Postings where your teen is saying or doing something for others

Check Point: Discuss with your teen what they have on their social media sites. Start grooming their pages to make them college-ready!

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