The Possibility for Harm Present When Institutions Misrepresent Student Body Diversity
In an attempt to attract students, many institutions of higher learning are manipulating their marketing materials to make it appear as if their student populations are more diverse than they actually are. While organizations of all types often portray users of their products and services as idealized in order to appeal to a broad base or desired demographic, this rarely leads to harm. In the case of university and college students of diversity, however, such misrepresentation can lead to harm if they choose to attend an institution under the belief that they will be surrounded by peers and discover something altogether different once they arrive. Such distortion can, in turn, hurt the institution’s reputation and retention and should be avoided.