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College Admissions Expert Explains Why "Free Perks" Aren’t So Free


Mark Montgomery, expert educational consultant, goes to Rollins College and explains that when you’re considering accepting a college’s admissions offer, remember that the “free” perks aren’t really so free.


So today I’m on the campus of Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida, and it’s January so I have to wear a fleece because it’s a little chilly, but a gorgeous sunshiny day, and we have Lake Virginia behind me. This is beautiful. The campus is located right on this lake, there’s this walking path that goes all the way around so if you’re trying to clear your head before an exam or after an exam, it’s awesome, it’s a really, really beautiful place. No wonder Princeton Review calls it the number 1 most beautiful campus in America.

Not So Free Things

But I chuckle, I go to these tours all around the country, I go on tours and learn about the colleges, and they’re led by really great students who are energetic and enthusiastic, and they like to tell us about “free” things that you can do on this campus. So for example, you can take out a kayak or a rowboat or a canoe for “free” on the lake here, or you get “free” laundry.

Other campuses have “free” massages at finals or other kinds of “free” things. And I always chuckle, I always laugh with parents, because parents know exactly that isn’t free, right? I mean, it’s something that you’re paying for with the price of your admission, your student fees, your room and board, it’s all built into the price, it’s baked in. So from a student’s point of view, yea, it’s “free.”

But it’s not free, okay? Nothing is for free. We realize in the world that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. But it is funny to see what students find meaningful when they’re taking these tours, and the laundry thing is so important because kids know that no longer is Mom, usually Mom, sometimes Dad, no longer is Mom going to be doing your laundry. So having “free” laundry sounds pretty great.

That’s really cool from a student’s point of view, but number 1, kids, you’re going to have to do your laundry yourself, and no matter what, you’re paying for it somehow. So get that through your head as you’re taking these tours, and separate what’s free, what’s not free, and remember that there is no free lunch. Anywhere.


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