Do students’ social media habits matter when it comes to college admissions?

So you’re applying to college. You’ve filled out the applications, written the essays, taken the standardized tests.

Have you also … strategically untagged yourself from certain photos on Facebook? Deleted posts that might not be so flattering? Changed your username on a particular network so you can’t be found? Or upped your privacy settings?

A story in Time magazine says some kids are doing just that, and they might have reason to do so. The story cites a Kaplan Test Prep survey in which more than 25 percent of college admissions officers said they had looked up applicants on Google or a social network such as Facebook. Another 35 percent said they’d found something online that negatively impacted someone’s application, the survey says.

The survey also indicates that a many of officials — about 75 percent — are using Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for recruiting purposes.

I recently talked to some school officials about students’ online behavior after a website published a story showing racist tweets coming from teens after the election. One was allegedly from a Central York High School student, according to the article.

Some school officials said they address online activity through their media literacy curriculum. Jared Mader, technology director for Red Lion Area School District

, said that at the higher levels, students might talk about their digital footprint.

“How long has it been since they’ve investigated themselves on Google?” Mader said.

So high schoolers, did you make any changes to your online behavior when you started applying to colleges? Or do you plan to?

Tell me about it in the comments or shoot me an email at to be part of an upcoming story.

About Angie Mason

I'm the education reporter at the York Daily Record/Sunday News. I want to know what's happening inside York County classrooms. Email me at or follow me on Twitter: @angiemason1
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