College presentations prove ineffective

November 20, 2014 — by Lauren Louie and Arman Vaziri

College presentations aren’t nearly as effective as they could be. Rather than emphasizing what makes a school unique, each is a marketing pitch that invariably says it’s “a great college for students just like you.”

Are you worried you won’t get into your first choice college? Well, according to the dozens of college presentations that have been held at school, there’s no need to worry — every school is perfect.

College presentations aren’t nearly as effective as they could be. Rather than emphasizing what makes a school unique, each is a marketing pitch that invariably says it’s “a great college for students just like you.”

In fact, the primary use for college presentations is not, as one would think, to gain a better understanding of the school; rather, many students use these presentations to speak to school representatives in the hopes that that their name will be passed along to admission officers.

Although these students have a valid  reason for going to the presentations, it seems like the nature of college presentations have changed to fit only their needs. This makes it  difficult for students who are undecided about a particular school, since they are not gaining anything from the presentations.

Rather than conveying information students want to know, college presentations feel like a quick and dirty crash course filled with information that’s easily accessible from a school’s website.

The purpose of college presentations should be to present aspects of colleges that can’t be conveyed in just statistics. What differentiates some programs from others? What does a certain campus have that others don’t? From the resources provided to specific programs and opportunities, there are many different parts to a school — aspects that cannot be discovered by a simple Google search.

What students really need from college presentations are the more intangible aspects, and the best candidates to offer that information are alumni (the more recent, the better). Whether it be in person or on video, it would be valuable for someone’s who has been in a similar position to tell why and how they made their decision and how they feel about that decision. Also, alumni can convey aspects of campus atmosphere and what there is to do on campus in a way that admissions officers cannot do.

When students take class time to attend a college presentation, they deserve more than just a regurgitation of the college’s website. Students put a lot of effort into being the best applicants they can be. In return, colleges need to show off their unique attributes in order to really help seniors make the best college decisions.