5 Steps to Protect Your Facebook Profile During College Applications

By Sam Coren
StudentAdvisor.com Staff

As social media becomes more prevalent in almost every aspect of our lives it’s changing the way college admissions offices view applicants. A Harvard admissions interviewer confessed she will occasionally run a quick Google search on applicants to see what’s publicly available, such as Facebook photos and Twitter updates. Sometimes less the than flattering items that show up in search engine results can influence an admissions officer’s opinion. Other admissions offices have a stricter policies that involve explicitly telling employees to not search the online profiles of applicants.  But as the saying goes – you’re better safe than sorry.

CBS MoneyWatch recently ran a feature called “Using Social Media to Get Into College“. In this article our Editor, Dean Tsouvlas, recommended going through your Facebook privacy settings to keep prying eyes away from silly photos and inside jokes. However, even Facebook powerusers struggle to figure out how to tweak the privacy settings just right. That’s why we wanted to make it clear with these 5 easy steps:

Step #1: Click on the Account Tab


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Step #2: Click on the Account Settings Link


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Step #3: Click on the Customize Settings Link


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Step #4: For each category, control what friends see.

Note the additional customize area in the pulldown.

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Step #5: This extra customize area allows you to block by individual employer, college, company, etc.

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Tip: Adjusting the “Photos and Video I’m tagged In” setting is one of the most important to moderate.


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Have more helpful hints on cleaning up your online presence for college admissions? Share your tips in the comments.

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