Local College Hopes to Attract ‘Unsophisticated’ Students Through Fun Audition Process

Mercy College's Dobbs Ferry campus. Photo: Wikipedia

Mercy College is trying out a new thing, wherein applicants to the college can find out whether they're accepted overnight. It's called Immediate Decision Week! Catchy, right? Doesn't it sound fun? Like a game show or a reality show where Paula Abdul or some other such luminary pops out to judge you? That's what Mercy is hoping. To promote the program, admissions officers will canvass for students by trawling beaches and malls in the five boroughs in search of "instant applicants." "Contrary to what may be suspected," the Sun writes awesomely, "Immediate Decision Week does not appear to be an act of desperation." Rather, it's an act of capitalism!

"For the sophisticated middle class, the dignified and genteel ways of higher education do not constitute a barrier," Barmak Nassirian, of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, tells the Sun.

"Now imagine the unsophisticated, low-income student who doesn't have a cooperative adult in their life, for whom the very knowledge that you have to get admitted to go to college is news. What's wrong with their running into a desk at a mall, where somebody grabs their best instincts and makes them act on it?"

Chill out, Barmak, no one said there was anything wrong with it. Barbizon has been recruiting "models" the same way for years. One thing, though: If college applications are a surprise, what's going to happen when these prospective "students" find out about tuition?

Sun, Surf, and College Admissions Officers [NYS]