Many people choose a certain school over another because of future job prospects. Schools constantly advertise the likelihood of their graduates getting a job.
New York Law School boasts that 90 percent of its graduates are employed. However, for Alexandra Gomez-Jimenez and other NYLS graduates, these statistics that drew them to the school, proved not applicable to them. As a result, the unemployed bunch filed a $200 million lawsuit.
The law school actually defended itself using the loophole approach: the school did not say the 90 percent of employed students were employed in the law field, per se, just employed in general. We do not know if the plaintiffs ever settled out of court, but we must question ethics. Is it really ethical to “butter up” a student to spend tens of thousands of dollars to come to your school, only for them to find out that their lives will be topsy-turvy because you basically lied?
It is unethical for a school, such as the New York Law School, to make grossly false claims. When students are naively filled with the expectation of walking from the graduation ceremony into a law firm, they will do what it takes to get into the school that makes that promise. Gomez-Jimenez and other plaintiffs are completely right to file a lawsuit since they have not only wasted money, but time as well.
Colleges, just like Wal-Mart or AT&T, are ultimately businesses. The objective is to get the best and the brightest to invest in the business, and an education. So, just like any other business, colleges have a marketing strategy. The school needs to get its name out in any way possible. Apparently, exaggerating a bit is not too shameful of a sin for colleges.
I, personally, was drawn to TCU because of basic marketing. Being a Fort Worth native, I had always heard about that prestigious school down Berry Street. Everywhere I went near Berry Street, I saw purple and this weird lizard. The older I got, the more ads were flung toward me about the school’s reputation, retention rate, and nursing (my major) job prospects.
I made my decision to become involved in the medical field because it has the most secure jobs. As well as, “it’s more important that you got your RN from TCU, than simply getting your RN,” as my mom once told me.
These kind of statements, whether from your mom or the admissions counselor, drastically impact a student’s life. Many of us want to believe that we are being offered the best deal by attending a certain college. Therefore, it should be mandatory that reports about alumni, such as employment statistics, be completed and verified by people with no affiliation with the school. This would eliminate bias.
College advertising is a very serious issue because these ads reach farther than simply four years of time and money invested into the school. These ads impact a student’s life when it is time to find a job. When that 90 percent employment rate turns out to be “employed, but by McDonald’s”, how will that adult feed his or her family?
Rozlin Draper is a freshman nursing/pre-med major from Fort Worth, Texas .