Why community colleges are a secret

Ryan Lubke, a 24-year-old computer support technology student at Minnesota West Community & Technical College in Granite Falls, told Minnesota college student leaders Friday why two-year colleges often don't appear on the radar of high school students:

"Unless you live in one of the towns, you never hear about them. How often do you see a commercial for your school? And when you do, they look like something you’ve done in middle school. They’re horrible PR."

Lubke is on to something. Much has been written about how for-profit colleges have attracted masses of students -- many of whom might have gone to community colleges -- through huge advertising and marketing campaigns.

Washington Post writer Daniel de Vise states that for-profit colleges spend nearly a third of their budgets on recruiting and marketing, spending heavily "on television advertisements, billboards, phone solicitation, and web marketing."

Regardless of what one might think of for-profit colleges, their budgets or tactics, they're right about one thing: Image sells.

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