Kaplan Tests Prep’s 2010 survey of college admissions officers stated that 82 percent of colleges use Facebook to recruit and stay in touch with students.
Ferris has a Facebook page and Twitter account, but currently does not look at social media as a deciding factor for admissions.
Sarah Brozzo, a senior in the optometry program, does not agree with schools filtering through Facebook and believes they are two different entities.
“I think an individual’s Facebook is an unreasonable criterion to consider when making an admission or hiring decision. The purpose of an application is to disclose the aspects of one’s life that are relevant to that program or position,” said Brozzo.
Brozzo believes Facebook does not accurately show what an applicant is capable of.
“An individual’s personal experiences as depicted on a social networking site are not necessarily a good indication of their academic potential or work ethic. In addition, no matter how private an individual makes their profile, there are countless others who do not apply the same settings so the unwanted content may be easily viewable through someone else’s profile,” said Brozzo.
CNN reported a recent survey commissioned by Microsoft that found that 70 percent of recruiters and hiring managers in the United States have rejected an applicant based on information they found online. If employers are weeding people out through online resources, it raises the question if schools should do the same.
Alex Lorenz, sophomore in the public relations, believes it is wrong for schools to filter Ferris students based on online presence, but still thinks it is a good idea to get familiar with. Alex has already landed a social media internship with a fashion PR agency in New York with the help of social media.
“I don’t think it should be a requirement for getting into school, because incoming freshman are not mature enough to understand the negative effects it could have. Many students share too much info and do not think before they post. However, it’s still important to maintain a good image online because companies do look at the information students put on the web and they do base their hiring decisions off of what they see,” said Lorenz.
Filtering students into all universities may be too harsh, but it could be a viable option for heavy sought after graduate programs such as Ferris’ pharmacy program and graphic design program.
Jessie Monitz, a sophomore in the pre-pharmacy program, believes admissions should look at more than just a resume and interview.
“Anyone can stretch the truth in an interview and essay, and with so many people applying into some programs, there has to be some way to cut a candidate,” said Monitz. “Facebook and other online media should be taken with a grain of salt though because nobody is perfect and we all have lives outside of school. Just because someone has a drink doesn’t mean they are a bad candidate.”
This idea is not set in stone yet, but as Ferris students move toward a more digital age, what is placed online could have an effect on a student’s future. n