Troubled Teens and College Admission

Here’s one more reason to help your troubled teen get back on track as soon as possible: It may increase her chances for college admission.

The name of the college admissions game these days is recruiting the best students possible. This means that behavior and character may be equally as important as academic standing and SAT scores. In the wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy, colleges and universities fear liability for student behavior, so they are increasingly probing more deeply into an applicant’s past to determine how he would fit into the school community. This means suspensions, dismissals, probationary terms because of behavioral misconduct, and legal issues involving drug or alcohol use are fair game.

Teens behaving badly online also are subject to admissions scrutiny. A study done at the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth found that more than 26 percent of colleges and universities look for information about prospective students using standard search engines. So beware – what your teen posts on MySpace or Facebook may influence a college admissions decision, too.