There has always been a gap between what people sell and what the product or service ends up being. Things are pictured differently. Salesmen have the bad habit of only advertising the positive side and advantages of things, leaving purposely behind any flaw or downside. Like a couple who just started dating...
This may cause problems when making life changing decisions, specially for college. You may think you know everything about it. You know the ranking, diversity, prestige, and professors of certain school... but is it enough? Sometimes even by touring around, you miss stuff.
One in three students transfer every year in the U.S. 60$ billion dollars are going down the toilet with all the extra 8-month tuition parents usually pay when their children change schools.
What a waste of time and money!
Schools like BU, and MIT started a trend of using technology and social medias to illustrate life in campus. Students started to describe and show their experiences. The idea was to give schools a more real vibe, leaving academics for later. With blogs, videos and posts, prospective students learn about the school from a different perspective compared to the official college books version. I have no idea if this approach has affected the one-of-three stats, but it is a smart way to use technology, not only to spread information, but to show people's lives.
Clark University has a "Explore Life at Clark" section in its website. It basically has everything the other schools have. New additions to campus like "The New Bistro is here", or student club life "come and see our CHOICES club!"
However I feel something is still missing. Yes these initiatives are very informative and helpful for prospective families... but schools are overlooking most of the social life (the important part). College is 30% school work and 70% friends ( I just made that up but you get my point). What about the parties, night life, get togethers, humans vs. zombies. They are all here, aren't they?
I know, I know, they are not the best diplomatic or legal activities to show on an official website, but I bet most of the people who transfer, transfer precisely because their social life didn't go quite as they've expected. Because they didn't fit in. I think a most honest approach to college life will definitely help out the pockets of many parents with transfer kids.
I like the idea of a Clarkie reality show.. or something like that.