Applying to College? You May Want to Delete Your Facebook Account

A life without Facebook might seem incomprehensible to some, but high school seniors applying to college would be wise to consider it, if only temporarily. As cited in the Huffington Post, more than 80 percent of college admissions officers use Facebook and other social media sites to get a second look at an applicant. Unless the applicant’s a recruited athlete, whose Facebook or Twitter profile might get a coach’s cursory glance at any point of high school, now is the time when a student’s Facebook profile may come under scrutiny.

Of course, deleting a social media account may seem like overkill. Why not just delete any potentially negative content? Or even change the account name so that the profile is harder to find? These steps may be sufficient, but I wouldn’t take the chance. After all, if admissions officers find the hopeful college applicant on Facebook, they won’t necessarily encounter the best representation of the student, nor the one so thoughtfully put together in the application; they may see a much more limited side, one that tends to encourage flash judgments, rather than careful review.

Another reason to drop Facebook: It provides a distraction when grades matter most.  Seniors need to have their best academic performance yet. Even if applying Early Action or Early Decision somewhere, admissions offices will frequently request first quarter grades or, if not available, may even call the counseling office to check on how an applicant is doing.  The level of competition often forces officers to search for reasons to reject applicants, especially at the most selective institutions.  Don’t allow Facebook to be cause for a red flag.

So how do you delete a Facebook account? It’s not too difficult. Access account settings, click on “security” on the navigation bar, and select “deactivate your account” at the bottom of the page. The link will lead to another page that asks the reason for leaving. Just indicate a temporary absence. After you’re admitted into college and ready to join the Facebook world again, you simply sign in on Facebook’s homepage, and pick up right where you left off.

Just be grateful admissions officers can’t gain access to that Snapchat account.