Required Reading for 2010 High School Grads and their Parents

Barry Lenson

There’s no doubt that marketing guru Seth Godin possesses one of the keenest minds in business today. In a recent post on his blog, “The coming melt-down in higher education (as seen by a marketer),” Godin turns his attention to some major changes that have taken place in higher education while we were looking the other way.

Here are a few of the points that Godin makes in this post, which we think should be required reading for graduating high school students and their families.

More students are no longer going to the “best” colleges they get into. Many are looking for good educational values that will not require them to go deep into debt.

More people are realizing that success does not depend on attending a “top” college.

The size of a university’s library is not as important as it once was, since libraries are no longer the only way to access information.

Colleges send out millions of pieces of direct mail to high school students – then reject most of them when they apply. Their strategy, according to Godin, is to climb higher in the college rankings that are put together by U.S. News. (The highest-ranking schools are those that reject the most students.)

In summary . . . 

It’s time to think about college in a new way. Here’s what Godin has to say:

“The solutions are obvious... there are tons of ways to get a cheap, liberal education, one that exposes you to the world, permits you to have significant interactions with people who matter and to learn to make a difference . . . Most of these ways, though, aren't heavily marketed nor do they involve going to a tradition-steeped two-hundred-year old institution with a wrestling team. Things like gap years, research internships and entrepreneurial or social ventures after high school are opening doors for students who are eager to discover the new.”

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