List of Test-Optional Colleges Grows

In the world of marketing higher education, the race is on to gather as many applicants as possible. One obvious reason for this is so that colleges can deny more applicants. The goal is to lower the schools’ acceptance rates. More applicants rejected = higher “selectivity.” In turn, this most likely will raise a college’s standing in the seemingly all-important world of rankings. Of course, the 500-lb. gorilla of college rankings lives at U.S. News. There are also myriad other rankings published each year. The goal, as with U.S. News, is to bring attention to whatever print or online publication is presenting the rankings. In other words, let’s sell more magazines or bring additional eyeballs to a Web site.

Marketing higher education is like marketing any other product, except with college, the aura of the product appeals to both intellectual pride (“Our son just got his Masters in climate change studies.”) and economic practicalities (“A B.S in chemistry or related field is required for this position.”). To paraphrase P.T. Barnum, nobody ever lost a dollar by underestimating the gullibility of the American public. Case in point: for-profit “colleges.” For example, check this ABC News story:

Santa Ana, California-based Corinthian Colleges Inc. announced that the campuses being closed operate under the Everest name and are scattered in 11 states. The company faces multiple state and federal investigations …

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