How Your Digital Footprint Affects Future College Applications

Photo by Oran Viriyincy, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 | There are many factors that determine the outcome of college admissions, including the social media trace left by students.

By Nicholas Williams ’21


Students’ social media activity could potentially get in the way of attending their dream school.

Social media is a resourceful and fun way to connect with people, especially if the person trying to be reached is thousands of miles away.

On the contrary, social media can also be used for posting offensive, and derogatory posts targeting certain people, ethnic groups, etc.

“Social media is super important for your college applications,” said Brophy college counselor Mr. Gilbert Martinez.

“When I was working for Notre Dame’s admissions office, we often dealt with cases in which students who were already attending the school were talked to about their social media. Nobody that I recall was kicked out for it before they stepped foot on campus, which shows how colleges have just recently prioritized social media for admissions,” Mr. Martinez said.

Recently, high schools and colleges have cracked down on what their students are putting out on the web.

Brophy Junior Kayden Davis ’21 says he is worried that the things he shares or posts on social media could affect his future college applications.

“I personally use social media rarely. My parents stress the importance of having a clean digital footprint, which is why they check my Snapchat and Instagram every month,” said Kayden Davis ’21.

Davis is not unfounded, however. In April of 2018, Harvard revoked at least ten acceptance letters from students who were spreading universally offensive memes on the internet.

One of the students, Kyle Kashuv, had his admissions revoked as a result of the things he posted.

Some of these memes included jokes about ethnicity, sexual assault, the Holocaust, assault rifles and even the death of children.

This issue is not limited to Harvard, however. Colorado College has also kicked multiple students out for something they posted on Yik Yak, a social media tool that allows you to send messages from a certain proximity.

As for Kashuv, he has been waiting for another college, a less prestigious college, to consider accepting him into their school.

Mr. Martinez also stated that he advises all of his students to make sure their social media accounts are something that they would want their parents seeing.