The Social Side of College Admissions

Facebook Study Making Headlines

April 23, 2009

There's been a lot of press coverage about a study correlating the use of Facebook with lower GPAs. The study, carried out by two PhD students, surveyed 219 undergraduate and graduate students at Ohio State.

Wait to Sound the Alarms

Based on the headlines themselves, you'd think that Facebook makes students dumber. However, the study does not claim any causality, and the reports' authors have not made any statement indicating Facebook use affects grades.

What Might It Really Mean

There have been a number of comments on the NY Times' Freakonomics blog that I've found interesting. The study may be more enlightening because it leads to questions about who does NOT use Facebook. I can't imagine that college students are not using Facebook because they don't know about it, especially since penetration of Facebook on college campuses is around 85 percent.

Do they just not have time for it? Do they view it as unnecessary and frivolous? Is it a certain personality type that is opting out of social networking?

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Blogger Varsity Outreach said...

UPDATE: A Northwestern professor tried to replicate the findings of the Ohio State PhD students and was unable to do so.

May 9, 2009 at 10:33 AM  

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