SOURCE: Cornerstone Reputation

Cornerstone Reputation

April 13, 2015 09:17 ET

Survey Reveals More Than Half of College Admissions Officers Review Student Online Activity

Cornerstone Reputation Launches CORA Admissions Score, Support Services to Help Teens Measure, Manage Digital Footprints

SOMERVILLE, MA--(Marketwired - Apr 13, 2015) - Cornerstone Reputation, an educational company committed to helping students and professionals manage their digital footprints, today released findings from its Undergraduate Admissions Survey, which revealed that more than half of college admissions officers review students' online activity when making acceptance decisions. The survey, the first-of-its-kind comprehensive study of college admissions officers' opinions and use of social media as an assessment tool, polled hundreds of the leading colleges and universities across the country.

Addressing the growing role of student online activity, and the need for a way to help students measure their online reputations, Cornerstone Reputation also today launched a new tool, the Comprehensive Online Readiness Assessment (CORA™) Admissions Score, an SAT-like rating which measures an applicant's online reputation from the perspective of a college admissions officer.

The CORA score is being released at a crucial time as millions of high school seniors across the U.S. hear about their college acceptances. For the first time, students receive tangible feedback on how their online image is perceived by admissions officers and what steps they can take to manage their reputations.

"Technology can, and should, reflect the many positive things that students are doing in their lives. In fact, students are doing all the hard work already by earning top grades and test scores, participating in extracurricular activities, serving their communities, and much more," said Joseph Ramirez, former admissions officer at Princeton University. "Cornerstone Reputation enables students to effectively leverage technology in order to amplify and communicate their successes, impact, and accomplishments. Such an experience will serve students well not only in the college admission process, but also in life."

Cornerstone Reputation's comprehensive study highlighted responses from more than 200 admissions officers at the top 100 national universities and the top 100 liberal arts colleges across the United States, as ranked by US News and World Report 2015 College Rankings. The survey examined the extent to which undergraduate college admissions officers searched for applicants online during the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 admissions seasons and revealed how it impacted their decision-making process.

Major findings indicate:

  • In the 2012-2013 admissions season, 27% of admissions officers searched applicants online; the following year, 40% of admissions officers searched applicants online, representing a 48% increase
  • 59% claim that other admissions officers at their school utilize online searches
  • More than half of admissions officers 'Googled' applicants and used social media to search applicants
  • 44% found content that left a negative impression about the applicant
  • 46% found content that positively impacted their impression of an applicant
  • 76% of schools surveyed have no formal policy on searching applicants

"Our research provides solid evidence that colleges are no longer relying solely on grades, test scores and essays, but are increasingly using online searches to gain a multi-dimensional view of the applicant," said Carolynn Crabtree, cofounder of Cornerstone Reputation. "Today, students need to think about the image they are projecting through their online behavior and how it may impact decisions by colleges and future employers. For example, admissions officers care about how well-rounded a prospect is, what kind of roommate he/she may be, or how he/she would impact the campus culture. Social media interactions provide tremendous insights into these issues."

CORA Admissions Score 
Cornerstone Reputation developed the CORA™ Admissions Score to advise teens on how their personal online footprints are perceived by a college admissions officer and provides recommendations on monitoring and managing their online reputation in that context. Similar to the way SAT scores reflect academic performance, CORA™ provides scores and feedback on the way admissions officers view candidates' online content, including communication skills, depth of interest, and community appeal.

"The CORA Admissions Score was incredibly helpful and insightful. I purchased the tool for my son who is a sophomore and my daughter who is a senior, and they have totally different online habits. We were all surprised by their scores and happily came away with a much better understanding of what goes into an online presence," said Cheryl Arbia. "Cornerstone's expertise is impressive and relevant, and I have no doubt my children are better off having received a CORA Score."

About Cornerstone Reputation

Cornerstone Reputation is an educational company committed to empowering students through tools and knowledge that help them understand the impact of their online presence to ensure the time they spend online contributes to a positive reputation in today's digitally interconnected world. 

Founded by Princeton University graduates Carolynn Crabtree and Patrick Richardson, the company's flagship product, the Comprehensive Online Readiness Assessment (CORA™) Admissions Score, is used by students around the world to easily and inexpensively quantify the probable effect of an online presence on various application processes.

Contact Information

  • For more information, contact:

    Linda Pendergast-Savage
    Pendergast Consulting
    Email Contact