March 14, 2014

Mile High Education

Pay no attention to the empirical evidence, the media tells me:
Colorado colleges and universities have seen a dramatic jump in applications, including from out of state, following the legalization of marijuana, but officials insist there’s no drug connection.
Oh, okay.  Colorado doesn't have a college that breaks the top 75 in US News or Forbes rankings, but we should attribute this spike in applications to Colorado's adoption of the Common Application and increased recruitment.  It has absolutely nothing to do with the state legalizing marijuana.

Well, maybe it depends on what they are handing out at recruitment booths, if ya know what I mean.

And that empirical evidence I mentioned?  I have a college student and a high school student.  I talk to them, their friends, educators, advisors, admissions folks.  They have the same old tired 'college night' at the local high school.  They have the same percentage of kids that want to go to certain Colorado schools for the same reasons; family allegiance, intended major, friends going there, etc.  None of which explain that up to 70% of the local kids that are actively applying to colleges are now including a Colorado school in that process.  Sure, some are doing it on a lark, for a laugh with friends, and some hoping to achieve a new level of college party decadence on mom and dad's dime for a few years.

The article points out that the legal pot possession age is 21, and that the substance is banned on campus.  Sounds just like nationwide alcohol laws - and we all know how successful those are at keeping alcohol out of the hands of college students.

I don't care what Colorado does with their pot laws.  (Well, I do think that there are many unintended consequences of putting the legalization cart before the standards of enforcement horse, but that is another post).  I know my kids, and, I know which of them I could send off to Colorado and still sleep at night, and which ones I couldn't - or wouldn't.

Colorado colleges should just embrace the fact that their state's schools are attractive for different reasons than before.  Denying that some percentage of students are coming to Colorado because of the pot laws just highlights how dumb these educators are.  I might not send my tuition money and my kid to your state's schools because of legalized pot, but I most certainly would not send my money and kid to your state's schools if you are too stupid to acknowledge basic truths of the world.

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