ERIC Number: ED345654
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Buying and Selling Higher Education: The Social Construction of the College Applicant.
McDonough, Patricia M.
This paper examines the U.S. college admissions market in the late 1980s and 1990s and how enrollments have shifted, competition has increased, and nonschool-based services have mushroomed. Introduced is the concept of admissions management: a constellation of behaviors which include, among others, the buying of services to help mostly high-socioeconomic status, college-bound students maximize their college prospects, package themselves, and emotionally stabilize themselves as they try to deal with the difficult processes involved in college admissions. Also reviewed are enrollment trends, individual choice processes, and admissions environment in the context of the interaction between individual behavior and the practices of college admissions professionals. The paper takes as problematic the practices of many of today's college-going students who appear to be following newly legitimated cultural rules and patterns of activity regarding college choice. Also offered are insights into the social construction of a new type of person--a college applicant who is in need of the professional services of a private, independent educational consultant. Contains a 35-item bibliography. (GLR)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association Conference (San Francisco, CA, April 20-24, 1992).