Basing the future on a college slogan

According to the Higher Education Research Institute's Freshmen Survey, the top three reasons students give for attending college are:

1. To "learn about things that interest me."
2. To get a better job.
3. To be able to make more money.

If these are true, then it follows that students try to pick schools that help them achieve these (ahem*self-serving*cough) goals. The marketing question I'm curious about is, How much influence does an institution's slogan have on the decision process? Does a prospective student, fence-riding between colleges, read slogans like the following and make their decision?

"Your revolution starts here."

"Minds in the making."

"Grasp the forces driving the change."

"Where you're a name, not a number."

I don't remember my college's slogan, or if it had one, though if it did I suppose it could have played a small role in my decision. No idea. But if the topic of writing good college slogans interests you, check out this humorous article by copy-writer and teacher, George Felton (That's his book cover), and the Columbus Society of Communicating Arts from which the article came.

8 comments:

Anne L.B. September 7, 2009 at 7:31 PM  

I want to cry as I read the reasons given by these students. What I wouldn't give to have the hours and money for higher education, to be better equipped for ministry!

I suppose I'll remain a home-schooled Bible scholar, content with the training and mission field God grants.

(Perhaps that's why He's allowed me such difficult life lessons. I wonder if they'd ever be worth college credit?)

Sam Van Eman September 8, 2009 at 2:09 PM  

Anne, I'm sure you're good for at least a few semesters of credit!

Lindsay Kate September 8, 2009 at 8:46 PM  

I actually had two while attending Edinboro University:

"You can get there from here"

"Great things happen here"

As a young freshman, I didn't really pay attention. As a graduating student, I wasn't sure what to make of the second (that came my senior year). Sure, some really great things happen in the departments at Edinboro, but I'm torn on whether it's tooting it's own horn to prod a person's desire to achieve their own greatness.

Great thoughts, thanks for sharing :)

Sam Van Eman September 8, 2009 at 10:45 PM  

"You can get there from here" sounds a bit like "Oh the places you'll go."

Dr. Suess would be proud.

nAncY September 10, 2009 at 8:18 PM  

that was a riot.
enjoyed reading it.

siu in carbondale, was known as"the party school", but, i don't think they would want to publish that on high gloss paper. hum.

Sam Van Eman September 12, 2009 at 9:10 AM  

nAncy, glad you liked the humor. I also enjoyed it.

I don't know if you followed the link to the CSCA, but it makes me want to know if there's a collaborative association like that in my area.

Michele Corbett September 19, 2009 at 4:32 PM  

So should I dare admit that it took us a year and more money than I will admit to come up with the word "Forward" for PLNU (where I'm the marketing director). And it will take another year to get our Web and materials caught up.

Before that, we used "Teach, Shape, Send" - a summary of our mission statement. Can we say internal audience anyone.

The reality is that there is a TON of exciting stuff we are going to role out about what we mean by Forward. A tagline is really only the tip of the communication iceberg. You have to tackle curriculum, donor relations, campus tours... There is a lot to expressing uniqueness.

I have a 100-page brand guide to prove it!

Sam Van Eman November 11, 2009 at 1:23 PM  

Michele, I realized today that I never responded to your comment here. I don't always reply, but I wanted to say thanks for your insight on the "Forward" campaign.

I'd be interested in knowing how PLNU will track its effectiveness. And if they do, how effective it is.

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