(from InsideHigherEd):

By Ellen Wexler

In its brochures, a college is never just a college. A college is a gateway, or a launchpad, or a training ground.

Condensed into a few words, colleges’ missions are similar, and the concrete elements of college life become less so: “Attending SF State is more than an education — it’s an experience,” the university’s website reads. “Leadership isn’t just an elective. It’s a way of life,” reads the University of Virginia’s.

But it’s that brevity — a tagline, a logo, a mission statement — that sells. Colleges want to stand out, but they also want to be pithy. The effect is often grandiose, stylized and crushingly clichéd.

“Start here. Go anywhere.”

“Start here. Get there.”

“Going anywhere starts here!”

Beyond tagline language, higher education marketing has its own aesthetic: students under trees, throwing Frisbees, wearing lab coats. And so it makes sense when colleges on opposite sides of the world produce nearly identical marketing materials. CONTINUE READING HERE