Test Optional Colleges: Really Bad Marketing

Colleges and universities have won the Hypocrisy of the Year Award, beating out all politicians who ever moved their lips.

I’m talking about colleges and universities who love to claim that they are “test-optional,” that is, they do not require that an applicant for college admission submit their SAT/ACT scores for college admission.

Yet, as this report indicates, both Bates and Providence College came to the stark conclusion that non-submitters of their SATs scored 100-to-160 points lower than submitters. If you were a college admissions officer, how would you treat an application from a student who didn’t submit scores? Suspicious? More than likely. Fair? Doesn’t have to be. It’s the college’s right to behave in this manner. Yuk.

 The Boston Globe disclosed the bottom line in this article: “What they don’t advertise is that they find future students by buying names of those who do well on the test.” Don’t you just love this headline?:

Bowdoin Says No Need for SAT While Buying College Board Scores

In other words, don’t submit your SAT/ACT scores, but we’ll find you if your scores are high so we can advertise, market, and sell you whatever we like.”

And these colleges pay thirty-three cents a name from either the College Board or ACT (testing service). One college buys 100,000 names a year. Do the math. Does your child attend a test-optional college? Ouch!

The hypocrisy is so astounding that you would think they’d give up on such bad marketing of their brands. No way. Once their lasers are locked in, you’re a fat target.

Besides spending your money on a 150-million-dollar, state-of-the-art gym (Ohio State), or on a million-dollar brass statue of a school’s mascot (Quinnipiac U), they’re now spending money on names and addresses so they can leverage (read: cheat on) their cultivated image as a school that rises above those cretinous and vile requirements for college admission – SAT/ACT scores.

Disingenuous is the deliberately kind word I would use to describe the mind-sets of these colleges.

Gotta take a shower.

To find the right-fit college without digging through the trash, click here.


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