Bev Taylor of Ivy Coach was featured in an article in “Business Week” entitled “Colleges Ship Freshmen to Paris to Boost Tuition Coffers.” The article, as you can rightly guess, focuses on universities that send incoming students abroad to begin their college careers. New York University is well known for this practice. Northeastern University is another school that contributes to the trend. So what’s it all about? Well, NYU and Northeastern — perhaps driven by the bottom line (OK, not perhaps — definitely driven by the bottom line) — admit students on the contingency that they will study abroad for their first semester of college. And possibly even their second as well. So why do they do this? Because there are always students who drop out of college or transfer. And there are also upper-class students who choose to study abroad. These openings create seats that need to be filled. And who better to fill them than their eager students who agreed to start off their college careers by studying abroad?
As Bev Taylor is quoted in the article, few college applicants choose to accept a freshmen foreign study offer right off the bat. It’s something they’ll have to think about. They’ll have to weigh their other offers. After all, most high school students as they apply to colleges don’t think that they’ll have to spend their first semester in Paris! It’s totally a surprise. When students do study abroad during their first semester, they often have difficulty adjusting to college life back on the main campus. Especially at a school like NYU in a big city where it’s hard to make friends to begin with!
We don’t support this practice at Ivy Coach. We think that it’s borderline unethical — to encourage students to attend your university, only to send them halfway around the world where they’ll be far from their families, only to then bring them back to your campus once a bed needs filling. It’s not right. The colleges are being driven by their bottom lines and it’s transparent…and wrong. Then again, for students who wouldn’t otherwise gain admission to these schools, it’s a way to earn a degree from the school you so very much want to attend. It just requires a bit of patience and a willingness to do something you didn’t anticipate doing!
While you’re here, check out this post on NYU and China.