Social media didn’t exist many years ago when people – just like today – have applied to graduate school. On the application packet and perhaps an interview – this is how admissions decisions were based. It was really quite simple, at the time the process seemed complex but, compared to today’s standards. What’s different today? The application process is similar, but conducted online. Most graduate programs require online submissions on their own websites. The admissions committee can gather a great deal of information about applicants – apart from their applications – perhaps this is the biggest difference between then and now. The Internet and social media have opened the door to cyber snooping that can tell faculty and admissions committees much more about you than your application packet. About 30% consider information on social media sites in making admissions decisions About one-third admit to Googling students – this is what shows Surveys of College Admissions Officers. Data on low schools shows that over 40% of 128 American Bar Association accredited law schools said that they have Googled an applicant to learn more about them, while 37% have checked out an applicant on Facebook or other social networking sites. Meanwhile I have no data on the use of social media in graduate school admissions decisions.

Care about your social profile

It’s certainly not the norm ,while data on undergraduate admissions and law school admissions suggest that some admissions committees review social media. One might expect something similar With regard to graduate programs. Often masters programs are quite large, with many applicants and many admitted students. Admissions committees for these programs are probably less likely to Google applicants as they may not have the time nor inclination to search. Doctoral programs tend to be small. Faculty tend to hand pick the students with whom they wish to work. Faculty often invests their own grant money to fund a student’s education. Typically the professor’s grant covers the student’s tuition and often a stipend in the case of a research assistant. This is a huge investment and before deciding to accept him or her it isn’t hard to envision a professor running a quick internet search to see what they can learn about a student. To make your social profiles private and unsearchable – this is the best and easiest thing that you can do. Students sometimes worry that admissions committees will think that an applicant has something to hide when his or her Facebook or other profile is private. A private profile is a sign of maturity on the contrary. It shows that you recognize a separation between your professional and private life. be cautious about what you post online and recognize that even the tightest privacy settings can fail – this is something you have to pay special attention. As you’d like admissions committees to see you, make sure that your online profiles reflect you. As you apply to grad school, try some other tips for managing your digital footprint.