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Monday, January 6, 2014
Dating and College Admissions
What's the hardest part about dating? The insincerity? Awkward dinner conversation? The energy involved in keeping your guard up? The rejection? Ever thought about how much it feels like the college admission game? No?
Indulge me for a moment.
A recent story reported on National Public Radio, details a now infamous college application brochure for the University of Wisconsin at Madison. The brochure depicts students at a football game, clad in the UW red and white colors, cheering and smiling. All of the students in the picture are white. At least they were. Before going to the final print, the university decided to photoshop in the face of an African-American student.
Diallo Shabazz was, in fact, a UW student, but he'd never actually been to one of their football games. He later sued the university for using his likeness without his permission. The university acknowledged that they wanted to appear more "diverse" for the purpose of wooing students.
Deconstructing the racial dimension is too complex for this post. What the decision says to me is that colleges are engaging in as much puffery as the students that apply to them.
While students are busy dressing up their 10-day trip to Nicaragua as sweeping humanitarian work, colleges are busy literally Photoshopping fabrications into their brochures. What happens once the honeymoon is over?
It's really a reminder of how artificial the process can be. It's why colleges rely on grades and test scores-not just the personal statement. And it's why students really need to research their universities of choice-not judge them by the clothes they're wearing.
More on Shabazz and the diversity-Photoshopping epidemic in my next posting.
Labels: Dating and College Admissions
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