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5 ‘Dirty Words’ Admissions Offices Should Embrace


As my friend Colleen Brennan smartly stated: “And so the Academy vs. Business tug-of-war continues”.

For decades (centuries, even) colleges and universities have enjoyed the ‘ivory tower’ status of prestige. Students would clamor to attend. Students obsessed over every word uttered by the Admissions Counselor. Students would do whatever the colleges told them to do in order to meet the necessary requirements.

Those days are gone. Much to the dismay of Admissions offices everywhere, of course.

There are words you see every single day in the business world. But these are still considered ‘dirty words’ on many campuses.


It’s time for higher education to look outside their own world. It’s time to look at other sectors such as business, financial, B2C, entertainment, and music. Yes, a college degree is different than a can of Coke. But the students you are trying to attract see much, much more Coca-Cola advertising than college marketing. And colleges need to learn from best practices of other industries if they are going to adapt and thrive.