How “Admissions” Works Differently At For-Profit Colleges: Sorting and Signaling

Tressie McMillan Cottom., May 24, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Some really good writing in this longish post about university admissions that ends with this: "Rather than a market response to unmet consumer demand, my data tell a story of class insecurity that is transformed into a credentialing process through marketing that sorts, and admissions processes that signal to students that a for-profit credential can provide the security they intuit they need. The success of colleges like Profit U not only responds to the individual pain points of students grappling with increasing competition for fewer good jobs, but organizationally they have responded to weaknesses — pain points — in the social structure." This is really important. It's not just about jobs and it never has been. It's also about being able to 'join the club' - only to realize, that once you've finally gotten in, there are many more inner circles you'll never get to see. (Browse the rest of the site, too, for interesting stuff, including this astonishing dispute with the Chronicle from last year). Via Matt Reed.

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