Net tips for col­lege hope­fuls

To post or not to post

Arab Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

SAN FRAN­CISCO, June 19, (AP): Google your­self. Cu­rate your on­line pho­tos. The gen­eral rule of thumb, as one pri­vate high school ad­vises its stu­dents: Don’t post any­thing you wouldn’t want your grand­mother to see.

Guid­ance coun­selors have warned col­lege ap­pli­cants for years to mind their so­cial me­dia posts but can now cite a high-pro­file ex­am­ple at Har­vard Uni­ver­sity, which re­voked of­fers of ad­mis­sion to 10 stu­dents for of­fen­sive Face­book posts.

Col­leges rarely re­voke ad­mis­sion for on­line of­fenses, but so­cial me­dia’s role in the col­lege ad­mis­sion process is a grow­ing re­al­ity. Here are some ex­perts’ tips on what to post — and not post — if you’re try­ing to get into col­lege.

What re­search shows

Re­search from Ka­plan Test Prep sug­gests on­line scru­tiny of col­lege ap­pli­cants is in­creas­ing. Of 365 ad­mis­sions of­fi­cers sur­veyed, 35 per­cent said they check In­sta­gram, Face­book, Twit­ter and other so­cial me­dia sites to learn more about ap­pli­cants, ac­cord­ing to a poll re­leased in Fe­bru­ary. Ka­plan Test Prep has con­ducted an­nual sur­veys on the sub­ject since 2008, when 10 per­cent of ad­mis­sions of­fi­cials said they checked ap­pli­cants’ so­cial me­dia pages.

The Har­vard case high­lights that “ad­mis­sions doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily end at the ac­cep­tance let­ter,” says Yariv Alpher, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of re­search for Ka­plan, the test-prepa­ra­tion com­pany.

out­side the mosque got into a dis­pute with a mo­torist in the com­mu­nity of Ster­ling, the Fairfax County Po­lice De­part­ment said in a state­ment.

At one point, the mo­torist got out of his

The case in­cluded jokes about the Holo­caust and sex­ual as­sault that were shared on a pri­vate Face­book group for in­com­ing Har­vard fresh­men, ac­cord­ing to The Har­vard Crim­son, which broke the news ear­lier this month. Har­vard has de­clined to com­ment but says it tells new stu­dents that ad­mis­sion of­fers can be with­drawn if their be­hav­ior calls into ques­tion their ma­tu­rity or moral char­ac­ter.

The grand­mother rule

San Fran­cisco Uni­ver­sity High School se­niors are given a warn­ing each fall to clean up their on­line pres­ence — and nix any posts they wouldn’t show Grandma, said Jon Rei­der, di­rec­tor of col­lege coun­sel­ing at the elite pri­vate school.


“The myth­i­cal grand­mother is held up as an icon of moral stan­dards,” Rei­der said.

Another word of wis­dom: Don’t make jokes on­line.

“Un­less you are cer­ti­fied as be­ing the fun­ni­est kid in the class, don’t be funny,” Rei­der said. “A sense of hu­mor can be dan­ger­ous on­line.”

Don’t brag, es­pe­cially about wrong­do­ing

Col­gate Uni­ver­sity ad­mis­sions of­fi­cers don’t rou­tinely cruise prospec­tive stu­dents’ so­cial me­dia sites, says dean of ad­mis­sions Gary L. Ross.

“How­ever, there are oc­ca­sions, very rarely, were some­thing might be brought to our at­ten­tion, and it would

car and as­saulted the girl, po­lice said.

The teen was re­ported miss­ing by her friends who scat­tered dur­ing the at­tack and could not find her af­ter­wards, touch­ing off an hours-long search by au­thor­i­ties in be fool­ish for us, if the mat­ter is se­ri­ous enough, not to check that out,” Ross said.

He cited a case from a few years ago where a stu­dent bragged on so­cial me­dia that she ap­plied early to Col­gate and another in­sti­tu­tion, which vi­o­lates an agree­ment stu­dents sign to ap­ply early to only one school.

“That was brought to our at­ten­tion. I was in touch with the other dean of ad­mis­sion, and we both agreed it was in vi­o­la­tion of each in­sti­tu­tion’s rules, and the stu­dent was de­nied at both.”

Edit on­line usernames

Make sure your email ad­dress is ap­pro­pri­ate, says Nancy Beane, as­so­ciate di­rec­tor of col­lege coun­sel­ing at The West­min­ster Schools in At­lanta, and pres­i­dent of the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion for Col­lege Ad­mis­sion Coun­sel­ing.

Silly, vul­gar or oth­er­wise un­pro­fes­sional usernames might look good to teenagers but send the wrong mes­sage to adults.

Beane also ad­vises stu­dents to be mind­ful of how they treat oth­ers on­line, in­clud­ing com­ments and trolling of other ac­counts.

More do’s and don’ts

The Prince­ton Re­view of­fers so­cial me­dia tips for col­lege ap­pli­cants, in­clud­ing “Google your­self” to see what turns up.

“Maybe you’ve made a com­ment on a blog that you’d rather not have show up, or a friend has tagged you in an un­flat­ter­ing photo,” Prince­ton Re­view says in a tip sheet on its web­site.

Fairfax and Loudoun coun­ties.

At around 3 pm, the re­mains of a fe­male be­lieved to be the teen vic­tim were found in a pond in Ster­ling, po­lice said.

Dur­ing the search for the miss­ing teen, au­thor­i­ties stopped a mo­torist “driv­ing sus­pi­ciously in the area” and ar­rested the driver, later iden­ti­fied as iden­ti­fied as Dar­win Martinez Tor­res, 22. (RTRS)

FBI missed rigged jack­pot:

In­ves­ti­ga­tors were sus­pi­cious in 2006 when they heard that a ru­ral Texas judge was try­ing to ex­change $450,000 in con­sec­u­tively marked bills.

But Tommy Tip­ton, a Fayette County mag­is­trate, told the FBI that his ac­tions were in­no­cent, if odd: He won the Colorado lot­tery but couldn’t tell his wife be­cause gam­bling was against their Chris­tian faith. The FBI ac­cepted the story and dropped its in­quiry of Tip­ton, who soon bought a new truck and more prop­erty around the town of Fla­to­nia, 110 miles (180 kilo­me­ters) west of Hous­ton.

A decade later, the in­quiry stands out as a missed chance to stop a jack­pot rig­ging scan­dal that would cor­rupt the $70 bil­lion lot­tery in­dus­try for years while en­rich­ing a tiny group of in­sid­ers. The FBI didn’t un­cover one fact that its in­for­mant knew but didn’t see as sig­nif­i­cant: that Tip­ton’s brother, Ed­die Tip­ton, was a lot­tery in­dus­try em­ployee. In fact, he’d built the ma­chine that picked the win­ning com­bi­na­tion for the Colorado Lotto game. (AP)

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