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How Can COLLEGES See Your FACEBOOK and MySpace?

Q: Will college admissions offices look at my Facebook or MySpace page? I am worried because there are some tagged pictures of me holding and drinking beer. Can they see my profile even if it is set to Friends-Only?

A: While it is unlikely that a college admissions professional would try to look at your Facebook profile, this is still a good question.

Some college admissions programs DO look at MySpace, Facebook, and Friendster. This is especially true of more prestigious colleges. It might also be true for students who are applying for a lot of scholarship money.

Colleges will want to be sure that you are the type of person who will be a good fit on campus. And colleges may be able to find your Facebook page with a quick Google search.

Basically, everyone should be concerned about the images that they post online.

Sometimes, these images can live out there for a long, long time. So you should follow these tips to be a safer Facebook user:

1. Set Your Facebook or MySpace Profile to Private: This way, other Facebook users will only be able to see your default profile image.

2. Untag Yourself from All Compromising Photos: If your face is tagged in others profile photos, you may wish to untag yourself in anything incriminating just to be safe. You never know who may be looking for photos of you online, be it for college admissions or a job or internship.

3. If You Do Not Want to Untag Your Photos: You can make your photos Only Visible to Me or Not Visible to Anyone. Then after you are accepted to college, you can change this setting back.

4. If the Facebook or MySpace Photos Are Really Bad: Ask your friends to take them down. Chances are that the school will never see them, but why take the chance?

5. Do Not Assume That Your Pictures Are Safe: It is better to be too paranoid than to overly confident. Even if your Facebook profile is set to Private, people who are competing against you for admission or for a scholarship may try to sabotage you. People at your own high school may try to copy the Facebook photos and send them directly to a college admissions office where you have applied. People can be dirty and competitive, so do not take any chances.

Best Advice: Eliminate those incriminating Facebook and Myspace photos!

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