My morning Google search for all things Stephens today turned up a blog entry about the new movie Admission starring Paul Rudd and Tina Fey.
(I was kinda excited. I’m really looking forward to that one—especially after this review by the Washington Post.)
Because my eyes went straight for the Stephens section, I incorrectly assumed that the blog was interviewing supporting actors in the movie, asking them for their personal college admission stories.
Sarah Barker gave this testimony:
Things were simpler back in the day. I think I only applied to about five colleges—but each application had to be typed … on a typewriter! I know I’m a dinosaur, but when you have to correct all typos with white out, you’d be crazy to apply to 10+ colleges.
Anyway, I chose Stephens College because it had a great fashion design program. But once I got there, things changed quickly. Within a week, the small, women’s liberal arts college in the cornfields of Missouri felt too small. Worse was that, I needed to be able to draw to be a fashion design major—this was a serious problem!
So, after a trip on spring break to Boulder, Colo. to see my big brother, I discovered the eye candy was amazing (and the mountains were beautiful too). With 20,000+ kids and a ton of majors to pick from, I decided to get out of Missouri as fast as you can say Rocky Mountain high …
Who is this Sarah Barker?!
After an unsuccessful search for an actress in Admission by the name of Sarah Barker, I actually went back and read the rest of the entry from $alt and discovered she’s on the editorial staff of the blog.
OK, so long story short, $alt is a blog that helps students and young alumni with personal finances as they navigate the world of paying for higher education.
So I looked up Ms. Barker’s bio and it was hard to stay mad at her. She’s a mom of three college-aged children. Plus, she’s hilarious. (“Kids, you need to know that Dad and I accidentally forgot to save $750,000,” she writes in her introductory entry.)
So I forgive you, Sarah, for that unflattering review of Columbia.
But I do want to set the record straight. Stephens is, indeed, a small liberal arts college, and we like it that way (hey, if you’re paying for college, you SHOULD get individualized, personal attention).
But Columbia is in no way, shape or form a cornfield.
I’m not sure when Sarah was last here, but Columbia’s current population tops 100,000. And those 20,000+kids she brags about? Pffft. Columbia is one of the top college towns in the country! We’ve got more than 34,000 college students roaming around Columbia between us, the University of Missouri and Columbia College (not to mention a lot of satellite campuses).
Also, maybe back in the day drawing was required to be a fashion design major, but women who sew well and don’t draw succeed in our program, too. “Most of all, they must have a fashion point of view,” Monica McMurry, dean of the School of Fashion & Design tells me.
So we in the marketing office of Stephens College appreciate your shout out and acknowledgement of our great fashion program.
But we’re also afraid your inaccurate description of Columbia and outdated experience with our fashion program might deter some from checking out our awesome campus, where women thrive in small classroom settings but truly enjoy a vibrant college community.
And it would be a shame if someone didn’t seek admission to Stephens because of it.