On a visit to Birmingham Southern College, Mark took a few minutes to explain the reasons that colleges and universities have built beautiful admissions offices–or “welcome centers,” as they are now being called.
Check out this short video, or you can read the transcript below.
Hi. Here I am today at the Admissions Office at Birmingham Southern University, in Birmingham, Alabama, and I am just about to start a great visit here. I’ve been really warmly welcomed. But I want to talk a little bit about the Admissions Center itself. This is a brand-new building, only about a year old, purpose-built, and it has a fabulous Welcome Center. And I’ll take you in in just a minute to show you around, but the deal is that more and more colleges are constructing or renovating these Admissions Offices to give families and students who come a very, a really great impression, first impression, of the college, and the university, when they arrive on campus. And I think it’s wonderful, and I don’t knock these wonderful Welcome Centers. Many of them are dual-purpose, like this one. They have parties and things in here for the campus community. But the thing to remember is that this is constructed to give you a great first impression. So you need, when you’re on the campus, you need to make sure that you spend the time to look beyond the packaging, the wrapper, that the Admissions Office is giving you. And that you look to find the grubbier pieces of the campus. The places that are not on the official tour. The places that are maybe not as gorgeous as their Welcome Center, because once you’ve been admitted to college, you will probably never set foot in this building again. So really look at the places where you will be as a student, not at the place where the Marketing and Sales Office, the Admissions Office, is hoping that you will look, and the impression that they hope you will take away.
Again, I’m really looking forward to my visit here at Birmingham Southern, and I’m not knocking their office, but it’s important to you as consumers of education to really shop, and really look beyond the packaging. Read the labels! Find the stuff that’s maybe not quite so beautiful, because that’s where you’re going to be spending your time and your money.