Frazz Comic Strip, February 06, 2013 on GoComics.com, particularly timely given how many college brochures my son has been getting lately.
I think that at least half the brochures are generated by the same marketing company, because they look like minor variations on the same basic template—just enough to fool the colleges who pay for them into believing they are getting a custom product, but not enough to trick a bright high schooler who sees hundreds of them. (The same number of paragraphs, logos in the same locations, URLs for the school in the same place on the page, passwords generated by the same algorithm, the same size reply insert with the same questions on it, in the same order, … ).
We were tempted to send e-mail to the schools we were actually interested in, letting them know that they weren’t doing themselves any favors by looking just like desperate 3rd-tier colleges. But reason prevailed and we decided that it would be better to tell them that they are idiots after they admit my son, not before.