February 20, 2018

San Mateo Volleyball Season Kicks Off -

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Van Jones Show:Jay-Z -

Friday, February 16, 2018

Chris Bosh Possible Comeback -

Friday, February 16, 2018

Chloe Kim: The 17 Year Old Phenomenon -

Friday, February 16, 2018

Shaun White Wins Gold at Pyeongchang -

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Biggest Problems with the NBA All-Star Games -

Friday, February 16, 2018

History of Super Bowl -

Friday, February 16, 2018

Where would you take your date out on Valentine’s Day? -

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Jeff Sessions’ History with Race Follows Him -

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Crazy Trades During The NBA Trade Deadline -

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

“Love, Simon” and representation on the Big Screen -

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Contraceptive Coverage Rollback Endangers Women -

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Rape Accusation Made Against Former “Voice” Star -

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Should Confederate statues be taken down? -

Friday, February 2, 2018

John Aguilar: Ataque Rapido -

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

“The Mini Show” -

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

‘Coco’ captura corazones de todos -

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

College Visits -

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Viaje a Teotihuacán -

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

R&B Comeback -

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Branding of Higher Education

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A brand-name is a powerful tool – especially in America. Our distinctly American brands reach across the world, as Asian students adorn the latest Nike apparel, and our signature drink, Coca-Cola, is drunk as far as Antarctica. Even our biggest tourist destination, Times Square, is a commercial fantasyland, lit by the incandescent glow of corporate advertising. However, our obsession with branding goes beyond consumer culture, and has leaked into the world of higher education

As seniors begin receiving their acceptance decisions, rounding out the college application season, their tension is palpable. For years, these students have been working towards the goal of attending a “good” university, whether it be for themselves, their parents, or their peers. However, we have a vastly distorted view of what going to a “good” university really means – we focus less on the educational quality of the institution, and more on the name.

Driven students often see their chosen college as a defining factor of themselves – it’s easy to draw conclusions about the stereotypical Harvard student. Often, but not always, they’re extremely hard-working, smart as a whip, and serious about their future. It’s why we’re supposed to feel shock watching Legally Blonde, and wondering how in the world ditzy fashion-merchandising student Elle Woods was admitted to Harvard Law. It’s why students are hesitant about attending a less well-known, less “prestigious” university – how can people make (good) conclusions about them if they’re not familiar with the college they attend?

However, it’s not all self-validation. Here’s a commonly used example –

Two equally-capable, equally-advantaged students are applying for a job at a prestigious law firm. Both are seemingly identical, except for the college in which they graduated. One attended Cornell University. The other, College of the Ozarks. The employer is likely to hire the Cornell grad, even if the College of the Ozarks grad is equally (or more) qualified. However, Cornell has a higher acceptance rate – it’s simply the name recognition of Cornell, along with its Ivy League status, that makes it more attractive to employers. It’s a sad reality, and one students keep in mind as they choose their college.

Prestigious universities are extremely savvy at marketing – it’s why we see people all over the country wearing Harvard sweatshirts, UCLA tank tops, or Duke sweats, even if they have no affiliation with the college. Somehow, we’ve begun to treat these schools as we treat our brands, harming the legitimacy and quality education lesser-known universities can offer. As we begin to choose our schools, it’s crucial to remember that the “fit” is more important than the “name” – it’s four long years, do we really want to attend a university just so we get the most likes on our Facebook announcement?

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