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Your College Choice: 5 Reasons NOT to Choose a College

December 09, 2010 By: Category: Choosing a College

Hope this finds you well and feverishly wrapping up the application process. Let us look ahead to a brighter day when the skies are blue and cows moo happily, a day when you have not one, not two (okay maybe two), but several admissions offers to consider before making your final college choice.

Fast food

Photo by chichacha 

While certain aspects such as academic programs, geographic location and financial aid MUST be taken into consideration when making your final college choice, other, less important factors sometimes end up in the equation when they shouldn’t necessarily be. What are these delinquent university qualities, you might ask? Well let me first share with you an anecdote that is fairly universal on college campuses around the country: a high school senior and her parents are taking an admissions walking tour of one of the student’s top choice schools. The parents ask dozens of questions, all centered around the hospitality of the university. Items such as where to find on-campus dry-cleaning; on-campus banking; the tutoring center; the rock climbing wall; how clean is the health center?; how can parents get more money onto the student’s ID card in an emergency? … All the while, the student tour guide happily answers all of the questions, having done so numerous times before.

These days, it is no secret that universities and colleges are in the hospitality industry. But who are they truly marketing to? Do the students really care about these campus peculiarities? I believe they do not.

Therefore, with no further adieu, allow me to offer up my final college choice list of 2010- the 5 Reasons Why One Should Not Select a University/College Based Upon:

  1. The size or appearance of the model dorm room that you see on your guided tour (the scope of sizes and varieties on any given campus are phenomenal and, well, it’s a MODEL DORM ROOM, folks! Do you think they’ll show you the ones with cockroaches? Yes, mom, some dorms DO have cockroaches).
  2. The tour guide’s enthusiasm (of course they’re being honest, it’s just that……….well……so is an army recruiter).
  3. The wireless capabilities of the university (every university is just about as wired as any student could need) or whatever gimmicks they might reward every incoming freshman with (don’t you already have an Ipod?).
  4. The male to female ratio. It’s just not that important. There will be plenty of opportunities. Really, there will be.
  5. The fact that fast food is on campus. This is the most disturbing trend in the corporatization of higher education. Do not be lured by salt and fat kids. On the contrary, please consider whether there is actually fresh, healthy food available on the campus.

With that, I send you off into 2011 and the coming college response period with wishes for much good fortune and a lot of objectivity when making your 2011 College Choice!