Should college hopefuls friend admissions officers on Facebook?


Lynn O'Shaughnessy of MoneyWatch reports on a vaguely creepy trend emerging among the ranks of high school students seeking admission to selective colleges: using Facebook to curry favor with admissions officers.

A new survey conducted by Kaplan Inc. found that 71% of admission officers had received -- or knew colleagues who had received -- social networking friend requests from prospective students.

In this era of hyper-competitive admissions at top colleges, it seems like students and their pathetic parents will do just about anything to try to get into college. But is adding admissions officers on Facebook a good idea? I'm going to say no, it most certainly isn't, and for a bunch of reasons.

First, you run the risk of offending the admissions officer and making him think that you have no sense of boundaries.

Second, what if the admissions officer sees sketchy stuff on your Facebook page? Pictures of crack-smoking and Girls Gone Wild tributes do not good admissions portfolios make. What about setting your photos and other obscene material as off limits for the admissions officer. Sure, you could do that. But doesn't that raise a whole bunch of questions too? "Welcome to my home and you're not allowed to go in that room, that room, or that room."

But even if the admissions officer is cool and you don't have anything creepy on your page, I still don't think you should add admissions officers on Facebook. It's just way too transparent and cynical, not to mention groveling and pathetic. Pandering can be an effective means of building relationships, but it can't be too obvious. Adding an admissions office on Facebook is an obvious effort to get into college.

Here's an idea: Instead of spending your time on Facebook adding admissions officers, do your homework. They'll be much more impressed by a high GPA than pictures of you and your friends at a keg party.