USA Today reports that colleges and universities are tapping into the social networking phenomenon to assist incoming students, market their schools, and to help put freshman at ease. In an effort to communicate more effectively with a generation that socializes on sites like MySpace and Facebook, more than a dozen schools have created their own private sites that feature profiles, bulletin boards, and other information areas. Steve Jones, communications professor at the University of Illinois, believes that “within a year or two virtually every college will have something like this.” Jones says the reason for this is “obvious,” and adds: “This has become such a familiar mode of communication for teenagers; it’s basically meeting them on their own turf.” To raise awareness of these sites, colleges use a mix of eMail, orientation sessions, and snail mail in addition to featuring links prominently on the institution’s main web site…