Teens, one Facebook post could keep you from getting into your first choice college.

A new survey found that 1 in 4 college admissions officers use Google and Facebook to screen applicants. And in the last year, more than one-third found negative online dirt that lowered a student’s chance of admission.

For example, one Vice President of enrollment said his school has turned up cases of plagiarism and accusations of sexual assault. They also found instances of online bullying and underage drinking. 

A lot of teens say they’re being unfairly judged because they’re not being evaluated solely on their academic performance – but instead, opinions are being made about them based on their personal, online antics. But admissions officers say online info is invaluable – just like employers are checking out potential hires online. It gives a real, unvarnished glimpse into a student’s personality and what they’ll really be like on campus. Because, just like in a job interview – on a college application, students are on their best behavior. 

However, on Facebook they’re definitely not on their best behavior! Over 50% of 18-year-olds on Facebook have posted about their sexual activity or substance abuse!

Of course, with hundreds – and sometimes thousands - of student applications, most schools don’t have time to check out everyone online. So they’ll usually only look if they’re on the fence about you. A college may also be looking for you online for a positive reason – to learn more about a project you worked on. But if they find evidence that works against you, you can kiss that acceptance letter goodbye.