Four out of five college admissions officers use Facebook to recruit students, according to last year's survey by Kaplan Test Prep. "We found that 82 percent of admissions officers reported that their school is using Facebook to recruit students," Russell Schaffer, Kaplan's Senior Communication Manager, told All Facebook.
Now, I seriously doubt that the content of a prospective student's Facebook profile is more important than their grades, extracurricular activities, or teacher recommendations, but it's not that huge of a surprise that the social network is playing a role in the admission process. After all, if recruiters check Facebook when hiring future employees, there's really no reason why schools can't do the same for students. Sometimes your online profile can be the tiebreaker. It's also important to note that the high number likely also includes college representatives finding interesting students online and encouraging them to apply to their school.
If you're a student, there are two ways to take advantage of this information. On the one hand, you can try to make your Facebook profile as exemplary as possible. This is quite difficult given that you have to stay on top of what your Facebook friends tag you in and so on.
The other option is to simply lock down your Facebook's privacy settings. You should probably already be doing this regardless of whether you are applying to a college, university, or new job. Facebook is much more of a private social network than competing services: if you don't want anyone but your friends to see your Facebook posts, then change your settings!