More colleges checking applicants' social media sites

Update Status (WLUK/Mike Moon)

This time of year many high school seniors are working on their college applications, but aside from the usual entrance essay and test scores, admissions offices might be looking at something else, the applicants' social media sites.

As an employee of the admissions office, UW-Oshkosh Sophomore Katie Biersach often gives college tours to high school students.

"They can't believe how fast senior year has gone by already and they're like, 'wow! Blink of an eye!" But they're actually really excited as well, which is really cool to see," she told FOX 11.

Biersach has some advice for those looking to apply to college. Be aware of what your putting on social media.

A study by Kaplan Test Prep found about 40% of colleges look at applicants' social media. That number is quadruple the amount of schools that did in 2008.

"They may take a peek at it, you don't know. So it's just always good to keep a good image of yourself and keep up your reputation," said Biersach.

UW-Oshkosh does not look at social media during applications. Neither does St. Norbert College, but both advise prospective students to be careful.

"I do know some of the much larger colleges and universities that do take a look at social media and use that in the application process," explained Eric Wagner the Associate Director of Admissions at St. Norbert College.

And for those hoping to enter the workforce soon, you should be conscious of how your social media use might look to future employers.

"I know a lot of individuals in human resources out there in larger markets and larger parts of business that it is something that they do, along with LinkedIn and other sites," said Wagner.

Which Biersach told us isn't necessarily fair. She said social media doesn't give a full picture of someone.

"Sometimes people will portray themselves differently on social media than they do in person, which could be good or bad," Biersach explained.

Regardless, this is a reminder: don't post anything you might regret later.

"Anything that you, as they say, would not want grandma to see!" Biersach said, laughing.

The St. Norbert admissions office told us it does not have enough staff to check applicants' social media. Both St. Norbert and UW-Oshkosh said the standard applications offer enough information about students.

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