Boston Globe… the “glossy brochure” and “junk mail”

No, the Boston Globe didn’t use the “viewbook” word in the opening paragraph of a 14 December article, “Point, click, match” at

But it was clear that the reference in the opening paragraph to “glossy brochures” having the impact of “so much junk mail” was meant to dramatize the increasing shift away from reliance on printed materials as a source of information in the college selection process.

Many people are still hesitant to recognize the extent of the shift away from traditional recruitment materials. If that were not the case, my mailbox wouldn’t be nearly as full as it was throughout the recent summer and fall recruitment months.

The article highlights the plethora of websites that exist now to replicate a social media environment. Students get “real” info about colleges, while colleges can either advertise on the sites or buy the names of participating students for direct contact in a new “search” variation.

Eduventures provided one of the most telling stats in the article, that 40 percent of college-bound students used Google or another search engine to start the college search process. Expect that number to grow.

As college fairs and “glossy brochures” fade into memories, the role of the campus visit will remain critical for many people. Critical questions still revolve around “fit” with the right college. Despite the continuing increase in “stealth” applicants, Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube won’t replace the value of a live visit before a final decision is made. But people will come to those visits primed with more real information than ever before. Overly programmed student tour guides will have about as much impact as junk mail. 

Have you been to your RateMyProfessors listings lately?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *