What Are Colleges Selling?

Over at the Chronicle of Higher Education‘s “Brainstorm” blog, Kevin Carey wonders if college consumerism has “run amok.” I think he has put his finger on something here. Colleges spend a lot of time selling bells and whistles–expensive dorms, regular pilates classes, and student centers with climbing walls and cafeteria food courts. (The University of Akron student center is pictured on the left). But how do colleges sell themselves as academic institutions–places where a student, as Carey puts it, can “become an enlightened, ethical, fair-minded public citizen.” He concludes: “If colleges want consumers to make choices differently, then colleges have to take the lead in creating, promoting, and standing behind different terms of consumer choice. “

2 thoughts on “What Are Colleges Selling?

  1. As a recent Messiah grad, I can;t stop praising MC's academics and I'm oh-so-glad that we invested in my education here. Though…. a regular pilates class might have been nice too…


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