How prospective students really decide

How are teenagers choosing which college to attend? Apparently not by paying much attention to glossy recruiting material. Writing in Education Week (14 March) Anne Macleod Weeks (Oldfields School, Glencoe, Md.) says “a natural path for many teens is to visit a college search engine such as Peterson’s or the College Board, develop a list of schools, then visit MySpace or Facebook, and then go to to get the full picture of an institution. Many also connect to personal blogs and websites, such as, to get what they call the ‘totally raw information.'” Young women told Macleod Weeks that these web sites and blogs help them distinguish between colleges that are more diverse and which are more conservative, and they portray how much students are stressed out or challenged academically, through their comments about the intensity of courses and homework.

“They may be rejecting us based on what they learn on those sites — through friends, and friends of friends, and the whole online world they continue to help propagate,” she concludes.

But that’s OK, isn’t it, because we monitor those blogs and those sites, and we know what they’re saying about us. Right?


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