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Do college admissions officers frequent this forum?

NJresNJres Registered User Posts: 5,959 Senior Member
edited January 2005 in Parents Forum
The reason I ask is, students offer up a lot of information and in some cases (two recent threads) their circumstances are so unique that anyone reading that student's app would instantly recognize them. The student will ask for advice on what information to put in or leave out of the application, or their essay. Sometimes I cringe while reading the things that are posted. The student probably feels anonymous on this internet forum, but they would leap out at someone reading the application. I want to add to their thread, "You have posted too much personal information" but I am afraid that would only freak them out, cause paranoia and would not be a constructive addition to their thread. So if you tell me that admissions officers are too busy reading apps to **** this forum I will feel much better! :) I am sure there are dozens of cases where an applicant's identity could be guessed at, or discovered with a little detective work. I'm not even thinkng about that. The examples I am referring to are very obvious.

So kids, if you are a 7 foot tall albino, and you wrote a moving essay about how it feels to be a pale giant among Lilliputians, don't post the details of your criminal record and ask if you should include that information in your app!


(I know there are warnings posted at the top of some of the forums, but nobody reads those!!!)
Post edited by NJres on
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Replies to: Do college admissions officers frequent this forum?

  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
    Of course adcoms frequent these forums. That's just common sense. Parents, principalws, guidance counselors, one's worst enemy, alumni interviewers -- all kinds of people frequent this forum.

    This doesn't particularly seem worrisome: "The student will ask for advice on what information to put in or leave out of the application, or their essay. " Adcoms know that students talk about things like this, and I doubt that it's a big deal.

    What would seem problematic would be when students make fun of adcoms, interviewers at colleges where the students want to go, when students start concocting lies for their applications, and when students start discussing plans to back out of ED for flimsy reasons. There was a situation last year in which a guy discussed his plans to back out of ED in such detail that I would bet that the adcoms became aware of it because his situation was so unusual and he had given so many identifying details.
  • jamimomjamimom Registered User Posts: 3,278 Senior Member
    I am sure there are adcoms who frequent the forum. It is a COLLEGE information forum after all. And any time anyone posts anything on any public forum, it is a risk. Some of the stuff I see in Live journal and few of these other blogs that kids think are their private clubs, makes my skin crawl.
  • athlonmjathlonmj Registered User Posts: 1,555 Senior Member
    Yup, they sure do.

    Matt McGann, assistant director of admissions at MIT even mentioned College Confidential in his blog.
  • texas137texas137 Registered User Posts: 2,143 Senior Member
    Aack!! *I'm* a 7 foot tall Albino with a criminal record!!! Do you think anyone will notice???? ;-)
  • concerneddadconcerneddad Registered User Posts: 1,734 Senior Member
    No, not if you wear a hat texas137
  • bluebayoubluebayou Registered User Posts: 24,828 Senior Member
    tx137: make sure it's a big hat, with cattle! :-)
  • tokenadulttokenadult Registered User Posts: 17,471 Senior Member
    I always assume EVERYONE who knows me, or might want to know me for nefarious purposes, reads my online messages. As a parent posting here on CC, I try simply to be real (in my own mind) about my children's someday applications to college. If they pursue their passions, they may be too busy to post much here, and I can simply pass on information to them as they ask questions (if they ask ;) ) about where to apply. Maybe no admissions officer will see any communications from my children here, but I definitely assume admissions officers read these posts.

    Far be it from me to say or do something that would hose my children's chances to gain admission at a college suitable for them. But, yeah, teaching my children basic honesty, kindness, civility, and honesty is my job even if they never apply to college, so I do look over my oldest son's shoulder sometimes when he is writing email or posting in a certain online forum that fits his interests. I do try to remind my son, and will eventually remind his younger siblings, that a lot of people read what he posts online, and he can't be sure what they all think of it. As he grows older, he'll have to learn for himself what kind of mature behavior makes a good impression on other adults. (I was very gratified to read in today's mail his course evaluation from his math course teacher. I guess he does behave well when out of my view.)

    BTW, I royally freaked out a girl in my town, whose younger sister I know, when I mentioned to her on our first meeting that I had seen some of her CC posts. I later apologized to her publicly here for startling her that way. Marite kind of startled me when she mentioned that she "knew" me from elsewhere, because she and I both used different online names in the place where we "met." We just have to get used to the idea that lurkers might identify us. I'll try not to stalk any of you, and you would be kind not to stalk me :) but we can't control the behavior of third parties who read this forum.
  • futureadcomfutureadcom Registered User Posts: 120 Junior Member
    I am sure college admissions officers frequent the forums, but I don't think it is reasonable for them to place much weight on what is said here. Even if they have the person "pegged", many people act differently on the forum than they would in real life - i.e. making fun of interviewers...I think it's more of a comic relief thing than anything else...I wouldn't take it to heart as an admissions officer. Plus, you never know who actually wrote what they did. Maybe the applicant's sibling, parent, or friend wrote it. You just can't take people too seriously on here!

    I will also add that it is my belief that admissions officers are far to busy to investigate the postings of certain people around here. Any time I am in an admissions office, the officers are always incredibly busy - and I doubt they are hanging out on CC :) Plus, with the controversies with Princeton hacking in to another school's database and things of this nature, I don't think any college would want to jeopardize it's credibility by making a decision based on what they read on a forum.
  • bettinabettina Registered User Posts: 1,236 Senior Member
    It takes so long to read these forums that the chances of an AO seeing your post is slim.
  • iamhungiamhung Registered User Posts: 283 Junior Member
    i would totally freak if a parent said she frequented these boards and actually recognized me.
  • NJresNJres Registered User Posts: 5,959 Senior Member
    i would totally freak if a parent said she frequented these boards and actually recognized me.

    sorry, but that has to be the funniest unintentionally ironic post I have ever read on this forum!!!! LOL !!! ..... given ur username! :D
  • NorthstarmomNorthstarmom Registered User Posts: 24,853 Senior Member
    "i would totally freak if a parent said she frequented these boards and actually recognized me. "

    That's why I didn't tell the Harvard applicant from S's school that I had seen him and his stats on this board. That's also why I didn't tell the Harvard applicant whom I interviewed last year, that I had met him here. I also didn't tell a girl whom I know fairly well IRL that I have seen her on another college board.

    I imagine there are people here who know me IRL, but haven't bothered to mention that to me. That's life.
  • angryschnauzerangryschnauzer Registered User Posts: 116 Junior Member
    my regional admissions officer at Uchicago says she has lurked on CC, so yes i guess some of them do it. CC allows AOs to lurk, but howcome the princeton review forum banned a brown university AO and warned future AOs against lurking/posting?
    i don't think they can really hold the information we post on here against us because what we say on here is not official and AOs can never be too sure.
  • TheDadTheDad Registered User, ! Posts: 10,225 Senior Member
    I have seen things posted on CC that if I were an AO I would certainly feel worth 15 minutes of my time to match up the application to the post, as overburdened as I was.

    I am somewhat cautious in what I post but I know that I have been ID'd IRL by another poster at least once.

    Best policy is not to post anything you wouldn't mind seeing with full attribution on the front page of the New York Times.
  • msteemstee Registered User Posts: 3,135 Senior Member
    I think it is very likely that admissions officers peruse CC, esp. the posts pertaining to their particular colleges, and the individual college forum of whichever college they may be affiliated with.
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