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Facebook, Twitter play role in college admissions

College admissions officials look up applicants on Facebook and Twitter, experts say. Details revealed through social media can make or break a good impression.

February 26, 2011|By Tiffany Hsu, Los Angeles Times

Tools for getting into college: GPA, SAT — and Facebook?

The website StudentAdvisor reports at least one case of an applicant being rejected because of something in his or her social media profile.

And one interviewer has said she is "absolutely" prejudiced by what she sees online about candidates.

"I think it's always better to be safe than sorry," Allison Otis, who conducts interviews for Harvard College, posted in a thread on the website Quora. "When you apply to college you spend such a long time crafting an image through your applications and essays that to be careless about your online data is just silly."

Otis said she regularly searches Google for students' names and looks through their Facebook and Twitter profiles.

Dean Tsouvalas, editor of StudentAdvisor, recommends in a recent blog post that students use social media to their advantage.

He suggests following the school's Twitter feed or "liking" its Facebook fan page. Students also can post a video resume on YouTube or blog about volunteering efforts or other extracurricular activities and provide a link on their applications.

tiffany.hsu@latimes.com

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