July 12, 2011, - 4:05 pm

Moron Nation: College Admissions Hits New Low – Twitter Applications

By Debbie Schlussel

When a college allows you to apply via twitter–substituting 140 characters or less for a college application essay–that should tell you something about the quality of education you’re getting:  dumbed-down and nearly non-existent.

MORON Nation, USA: Twitter College Applications

Since a college education is basically worthless now–in terms of getting a job or getting an actual education–I suppose it’s only consistent that they dumb down how you get in along with what you “learn” after you get in (as in, nothing–most college grads fail in the most basic knowledge).

Still, you gotta wonder about schools–and now scholarship applications–that involve Twitter.  Makes them look more like retail chain promotions than selection processes to recognize academic achievement and performance.

We already know that Marx has realized his dream–that larger and larger segments of American society are morons very much at home in the lumpenproletariat of idiocy.  And now colleges and scholarships are making it official. They say they want to emphasize social networking to students. But social networking is part of what has coarsened American kids and made them more stupid. It’s like colleges requiring kids to perform a rap for admissions. And don’t bet on that being far behind.  Hip-hop is already part of the curriculum at most colleges.  Here’s a tip:  if you’re going to college to learn how to tweet, save your money and stay home.  Ditto for any college that agrees to let you tweet in lieu of your college application essay.  Most of those doing that probably don’t know what “in lieu of” even means.

At the University of Iowa, a good tweet is worth $37,000.

That’s the price of a full scholarship to the university’s graduate business school, and that’s what a student hopeful can win in a contest that takes tweeting to a new level. The university is asking prospective students to submit a 140-character tweet in place of a second essay.

The school and a handful of others both corporate and academic are part of a growing trend. The plan: Use tweeting to make students get to the point quickly and to improve their social media skills — two qualities that today’s Twitter-savvy marketplace demands.

•Kentucky Fried Chicken offers a Colonel’s Scholars grant based on a tweet responding to “tell us in 140 characters why you deserve a $20,000 scholarship” over four years. The competition received 2,800 applications last year, KFC spokesman Rick Maynard says.

•Scholarship.com, an organization to help students find money for college, offers the Short and Tweet Scholarship, which asks applicants to sum up their college experience in a tweet to win $1,000 or a Kindle.

•The 140 Scholarship, presented by College Scholarships.org, a website to help students search for funding, looks for a tweet highlighting how to use Twitter to improve the world. The winner receives $1,400, and the first and second runners-up each get $140.

At the University of Iowa, the person with the best tweet by the July 28 deadline will receive a full two-year scholarship to the MBA program.

Applicant Seth Goldstein of Columbus, Ohio, submitted his tweet last week and said he was excited for the “fun, unique challenge.”

“It is something different and out of the box,” Goldstein said. “No other MBA schools I have applied to have anything like this.”

Hmmm . . . maybe that’s because they are actually business schools. Not Twitter circuses.

Jodi Schafer, the University of Iowa’s director of MBA admissions and financial aid, says that application essays were becoming unoriginal and often highly edited.

“We’re hoping that incorporating social media in the process will help bring back some of that creativity,” she says.

Yeah, because everyone knows that in 140 characters or less, there is sooooo much room for creativity, individual style, and originality. People never “highly edit” a tweet, right? Morons. This is a grad school education these people are applying for, not a toilet paper slogan contest.

Iowa applicants are encouraged to link to their blogs or anything else that may help answer the question: “What makes you an exceptional … full-time MBA candidate and future MBA hire?”

Well, number one, you’d be exceptional if you said no thanks to a low class, utterly dumbed-down grad school that uses tweets as the basis for admission. This is embarrassing.

One applicant, Kinzie Dekkenga, says she worked on her tweet for five days. “Having to simplify your thoughts down was much harder than I thought,” she says.

Um, if you worked on a tweet for five days, you are a moron. And you should stay far away from grad school. Or better yet, stay in school and away from the real world, where high-tech navel contemplation is a problem, NOT a solution.

I long for the days when education meant actually doing work, writing essays, and reading an entire book. You know–learning?  Back in the day, you were discouraged from reading Cliff’s Notes, which was cheating. Now, it’s a way of life.

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21 Responses

“It’s like colleges requiring kids to perform a rap for admissions. And don’t bet on that being far behind.”

Made me lol. Thanks, Debbie!

DS_ROCKS! on July 12, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Twenty-plus years ago, I was in the process of organizing a Telcom Rates & Tariff Dept in South Florida. Ads were placed at various Universities, Colleges, and Community Colleges. Nearly 25 students applied…only half ever kept their interview appointment…maybe 10% of the half no-shows actually called to cancel…60% – 80% of those who interviewed could not do simple percentages or mixed operation formulas using multiplication.

At the time $20K was a good starting salary for someone without any experience. One young male applicant was a Junior / Community College student just starting his second year. He passed the test I developed. I hired him. He had attended High School at St. Stanislaus in Hamtramck. No stinkin TWEETS involved in this employment opportunity. HE WAS QUALIFIED AND PROVED IT IN PERSON!

Dennis on July 12, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Yes, Debbie, but it’s probably for the school’s marketing MBA, and, as my wife (summa cum laude Accounting at ‘Bama) can tell you, Marketing majors are the dumbest! (My Liberal sister was one)

Seriously, though: I was a pre-med bio major at Texas Christian back in 1980-1984. My science courses were unpleasantly competitive, so I enjoyed my non-sciences much more. I took Religions of Mankind, Biblical Literature and Life, The Early Roman Emperors (read Tacitus and Seutonius for that—in English, which I thought was cheating, but what the hey), Art History of the Ancient World, The Holocaust, a multidisciplinary course (history, sociology, chemistry—a lecture on the manufacturer of Bayer aspirin and the Camps), American History, an advanced English course, and Introduction to Sociology which included a review of Durkheim On Suicide (very useful for reasons not obvious to me then). No real fluff stuff, and my Human Sexuality course was about normal and medical problems that could interfere with normal—no pornography or paraphilias or any crap like that. I wanted to get into Medical School, and I wanted to furnish my brain with stuff that would teach me how to think well. I think I reasonably succeeded on both counts.

I had a full tuition scholarship to TCU (my wife, a few years later had TWO CONCURRENT full-ride scholarships at ‘Bama). The cost of my tuition was $12,000 for the FOUR YEARS. The equivalent scholarship at TCU nowadays is $112,000! (While on scholarship committe, I made the suggestions that allowed TCU to continue to offer a full tuition scholarship without having an unpleasant elastic hole in the school budget for those scholarships)

I cannot imagine pissing away $112,000 over 4 years to study “womyn’s studies” as a major, nor can I understand the lack of rigor that would give a scholarship for a tweet. And Debbie, I was a lazy Genius type. I could have done better. I kept my scholarship, but if I had really applied myself, I would have been summa cum laude, not magna. I should have, for example, taken Statistics and Intro to Philosophy. But I knew precisely what I was doing from age 17, and that was to do what was required to get into Medical school.

There’s so much truly rigorous stuff to do in many disciplines. Art history, for example, can be studied rigorously. History when done by a Genius like the great Andrew Roberts or Conrad Black, is very intellectually inspiring. The Sciences can thrill with their beauty. Business plans can thrill, as well. Why waste time with crap?

Occam's Tool on July 12, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    Because, my friend, indulging our minds in crap is what dummies the culture down into a socialistic serfdom; which appears to be the game plan.

    shegundala on July 13, 2011 at 12:00 pm

I would expect such admissions standards from ITT or DeVry. Twitterspeak is an updated version of Newspeak. I think Winston Smith would have appreciated this before his electrical lobotomy at the Ministry of Love. Of course, it is all doubleplusgood:)

worry01 on July 12, 2011 at 6:11 pm

This story amused me to no end, since I am a graduate of Iowa State University (Bachelor of Science in Meteorology and Environmental Studies).

The whole scholarship issue is a bit of a touchy subject with me. I returned to school recently, with the goal of paying for most of it through scholarships. (I’m doing it this way for personal reasons.) Loans are out of the question. I am not a illegal alien lesbian seagull who sits in front of bulldozers to protest the destruction of houses in “Palestine.” Nor have I cured cancer at age 12, while building a multimillion dollar internet company. Needless to say, I’m having a bit of a time trying to find money. So, I’m afraid I would be one of the yahoos tweeting for cash.

I do feel a bit of sympathy for the girl who spent 5 days composing a tweet. I have written and rewritten mere 250 word essays, in the hopes that I could distinguish mine from the 253,000 other essays submitted. It makes you crazy after a while, however. But, I keep trying.

A local group did eventually award me one, after I made the case that raiding my meager 401K for educational purposes was a really bad idea. It was just $1500 that I used to return to a local community college. But, it was nice to have someone acknowledge what little gray matter I have left.

cirrus1701 on July 12, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    The point is that to have an admission standard that would have been embarrassing to a middle school graduate in the past is a hideous commentary on our system of higher education.

    Worry01 on July 13, 2011 at 7:48 am

I understand what OT is saying, but these disciplines have also been dumbed down or PCized. Not much left. The most common word in the vocabulary is “like” used a dozen different ways. Like I said last week, they look very intelligent and earnest until you can hear what they’re saying.

Little Al on July 12, 2011 at 10:03 pm

Debbie you are such an extremely cute person I am thinking about moving to Detroit so I could bump into you at the local kosher butcher. Also I always thought college application essays were bogus anyway, so Twitterizing them may be a good thing. If a kid’s grades, test scores and resume don’t impress, who cares about a farkakte (crappy) essay? They’re inevitably steaming piles of b.s. being judged by left wing nuts who are trying to exclude any potentially right leaning students while looking for an excuse to accept inferior students. And Lord knows whose writing them anyway. All in all, I’d like to spank you a lot for having such a fine, upstanding blog.

A1 on July 12, 2011 at 11:16 pm

And people wonder why I never went to college.

Squirrel3D on July 12, 2011 at 11:47 pm

Twitter ate my homework.

Doda McCheesle on July 13, 2011 at 11:57 am

What you must understand is that the University of Iowa is one of the most liberal places in the country, so it is already full of dumbed-down morons!

Glenn E. Chatfield on July 13, 2011 at 12:01 pm

And do they read graphic novels for their literature classes?

Little Al on July 13, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Al, actually, yes they do read graphic novels. My son goes to the #7 ranked public university in the country, and these kids actually had the choice to read a graphic novel, watch one season of a TV series, or just write about their favorite movie. They had to discuss examples of post-modernism. Other so-called “lit” classes the students could choose from included hip-hop, graffitti (including field trips to downtown) or Star Trek: The Next Generation. My son didn’t start learning a thing until he finally got into his difficult major classes. Oh, and now at this engineering college, they are offering pre-calculus for students! When my brother went to school there, you had to have calculus just to get accepted. BTW, my son is a white kid who had 9 AP classes under his belt, a perfect Math SAT score, 97 percentile on the other parts of the SAT, and he barely got in summer quarter. Meanwhile, his black friend failed his only AP class – I mean an “F” – and got in Fall Quarter and is now one of our future biomedical engineers. Gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling about our country’s future scientists, doesn’t it? Yeah, Obama’s going to create more engineers and computer scientists – right. These kids are being advanced through college like they used to be passed through elementary school, then high school. Now it’s college of all things!

    LRL on July 14, 2011 at 4:22 am

College has been overrated for decades. It’s just Big Government fleecing the public. Why should it take FOUR YEARS for EVERY major field of study? Higher Education for the most part is a scam. If it were handled by private business solely, the cost of tuition would be drastically reduced. Another example of government waste, fraud, and abuse. Unfortunately, college has become what high school used to be: a way for employers to weed out job applicants.

Anson Rohr on July 13, 2011 at 12:42 pm

I agree that higher education is ridiculous, but ideally there is nothing wrong with a multi-year higher education for those deserving of it (which, granted is only a small fraction of those currently enrolled in colleges).

In its best sense college should create an awareness of what it means to be a responsible member of society, learning its traditions and values and being able to understand society on a comparative basis. Such an understanding, when combined with the education needed to become gainfully employed will strenghten the society, and maximize the chances of its survival.

Between dumbing down and PC (of course they overlap), this is now a rarity, unfortunately.

Little Al on July 13, 2011 at 2:27 pm

And thinking of concepts like this in the context of twittering makes a mockery of civilization.

Little Al on July 13, 2011 at 2:28 pm

This once great country (USA) is doomed. Such a shame that a university went to these sort of messages to simply get applicatants to fill some spots up. I would be curious to see if this school filled all of it’s alotted spots for the incoming class over the last decade. Wouldnt surprise me if they had open spots still available when the first semister begins.

Rick S on July 14, 2011 at 2:06 am

IBO Mission Statement

“The International Baccalaureate Organization aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect. To this end the IBO works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop challenging programmes of international education and rigorous assessment. These programmes encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.”

IB School Curriculum on July 14, 2011 at 7:07 am

‘hi University of Iowa I would like to apply but too bad you only allow for 140 characters (say one hundred and forty) so I might as well for…’

would they accept that?

pufftank on October 28, 2011 at 6:15 am

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