A measurable percentage of what your son and daughter pay in tuition fees to their private college or university will be spent on getting other peoples’ sons and daughters to attend the same school in successive years. It’s a truism that is similar to the one that a notable number of pennies out of every dollar given to relief and development agencies is spent trying to get other people to give dollars to the same relief and development agency.
But the choice of a school is often based on superficials. It’s not, “This one has the course I want;” or “The faculty of this one include some renowned authors;” or “Graduates from _________ are often recruited by the best employers.” Rather, the kids go where their friends are going. Or they take a two hour of the academic facilities only to choose a winner based on the promised dorm life.
The problem is, sometimes the dorm in question fails to deliver; and the schools are often structured so that the administration of residences isn’t a high priority, or it is contracted out completely. A negative residence experience casts a shadow over the school year, over the school itself, and over academic performance. A student who is coping with the interpersonal dynamics of mismatched roommates and dorm-mates is going to be seriously distracted from higher grades. A school with loose noise and curfew guidelines is left with a free-for-all that is merely a playground for spoiled rich kids. A school that only matches student personalities in their first year dorm choice is undermining the experience of upper-year students.
Once the school has cast their spell on the student, they then step back and allow dorm life to take whatever course it follows; while the academics preoccupy their thoughts with loftier things. Besides, they’ve blown a wad of cash on recruitment, and nothing is left to pay people to deal with problems when they arise.
And everybody suffers.
Any guesses why I’m writing this today?