Marijuana: CU-Boulder official says jump in admissions has nothing to do with weed
Last week, Fox News shared a piece suggesting that a jump in admissions at colleges across Colorado may be related to the passage of Amendment 64, which legalized retail pot sales.
More photos below.
Of course, eighteen-year-old college freshmen couldn't take advantage of this law anyhow, since it only pertains to adults ages 21 and over. But even if this fact isn't widely understood, one University of Colorado official has a very different explanation for his school's admissions application jump -- and it has nothing to do with weed.
As we've reported, CU-Boulder has worked long and hard to downplay its reputation as a marijuana mecca, with a particular focus on a 4/20 celebration that had grown into one of the nation's largest.
Here's a photo from the 2011 event.
After this bash, administrators looking to end the 4/20 commemoration once and for all took the extraordinary step of closing the campus to non-students on April 20, 2012. Here's a pic from that date:
But even if no trees are burned when the clock strikes 4:20 p.m. that day at Norlin Quad, ground zero for previous 4/20 bashes, the legalization of recreational marijuana sales means national media outlets will continue linking the school, and others in Colorado, to marijuana use, as witnessed by the aforementioned Fox News report.
That's frustrating for CU admissions director Kevin MacLennan. His office has indeed seen a big increase in applications: 29 percent this year, he says. But he doesn't think marijuana had much, if anything, to do with it.
Instead, MacLennan believes the main reason for the rise is CU's new affiliation with CommonApp.org, the online home of the Common Application, which allows students to apply to multiple member schools using the same form.
The Common Application has been around for 35 years. For most of this span, MacLennan says, the majority of members were private institutions. But in recent years, more public universities have joined in, bringing the total number of colleges accessible via the website to around 500. This critical mass made engaging with CommonApp.org even more appealing, MacLennan acknowledges.
"We'd been looking at this possibility for three to four years," he notes. "And we thought the timing was right to make this move. We wanted to raise the academic profile of our applicant pool to see if it would give us a further reach. And the process is very convenient. Each school may have a slightly different supplement attached, where they ask specific questions for that institution. But when you fill out the Common Application, you can then submit it to any of the 500 school members" instead of completing one for each school.
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