Party Poopers: Colleges’ Admissions Departments Stalk Your Facebook

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THIERRY ROGE / Reuters / Corbis

NewsFeed hopes you had a solid Saturday night – but please, keep the sordid details off Facebook. Especially if you’re applying to college.

We all know that employers check out your online persona, but the trend is spreading. Now your dirty laundry on the Internet could keep you out of college, too.

A new survey from Kaplan Test Prep reveals that 82 percent of admissions officers use Facebook in their recruiting. While this sounds like a positive spin on having an online presence – meaning the college of your dreams can see your interests and your favorite books. And maybe yours jive perfectly with that of the college’s dream student.

(More on TIME.com: See photos of Facebook around the world.)

But as the cliché goes, first impressions are everything. Which means they can most certainly see what you did last night, especially if your privacy settings are lacking.

So if your profile picture is you slurping down a beer bong, or if your status is a drunken jumble tapped out after the bar crawl ended at 4 a.m., it might be grounds for a rejection letter.

This is clearly a two-faced issue: admissions officers can learn a little about you by being able to see your Facebook profile. Just be sure they won’t get the wrong impression. May we suggest a default picture of you posing in front of your dream college? Can’t hurt to butter them up a little, since 4 out of 5 universities will be sizing you up.

(More on TIME.com: How to keep your Facebook presence to only those who need to know.)

But the moral of the story is clear: wait till you begin college to post pictures of your party shenanigans.

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