According to a recent article in Fortune, it seems that admissions committees at a number of MBA programs routinely perform Google searches about candidates and check their social networking profiles on sites like Facebook. They do so in order to gather additional information aside from that which the applicants provided in the application, whether it is in the way they choose to present themselves or what others write about them.
For example, Harvard affirmed that they often do internet searches about candidates. Other schools (Stanford, UNC) only perform such research in cases where something appears suspicious or strange in the application. It seems that schools where students and alumni are involved in the acceptance process are even more likely to use internet searches. It is important to note that the information that appears about the candidate on the internet will not be a central factor to his or her acceptance or rejection, yet it can certainly give a light push, to here or there…
There were of course those who took advantage of the situation and started a business specializing in locating “incriminating” data about the applicant and deleting it. Among the examples of items found with potential risk for the applicant’s chances were an applicant with the same name as a convicted killer, applicants who posted quotes or pictures that connect them with gambling and drug use, and even applicants who badmouthed students at the school at which they seek acceptance.