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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



The debate on how best to market higher education in the United States may never be resolved between academicians and advertising executives. Yet there is no denying the marketing of higher education has been a part of academic history for 2,000 years. In one camp, purists believe higher education has such inherent value that it does not need to be marketed. They characterize marketing executives as used car salesmen in loud, plaid, polyester sport coats who "beat the bushes" for new clients and treat the university curriculum as an interchangeable product that responds to the whims of the marketplace (Pelletier & McNamara, 1985, p. 62). In the opposite camp, marketing executives believe the issue is not one of idealism or morality but of survival. They see a shrinking pool of applicants and believe marketing gives them a competitive edge. Marketers believe "the argument is not whether to market but how to market" (Pelletier et al., 1985, p. 54). In the last five years, the marketing of colleges and universities has evolved into a high-tech package, designed to keep the attention of its sophisticated audience. With the introduction of the home video cassette recorder (VCR) came a new form of marketing-marketing by videotape. Colleges and universities have begun to add recruitment videotapes to their list of marketing tools. The tapes are designed to inspire viewers to become part of the images they see on the screen. But how effective is video marketing and communication? How influential are recruitment videos? The author of this thesis examined the impact of a college recruitment video on its viewers. Specifically, the author examined the impact of the video, Discover Your Future, used by Southwest State University in Marshall, Minnesota. The author of this thesis studied how the SSU video influenced incoming students in the fall of 1989.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Southwest State University (Minn.)
College students -- Recruiting
Universities and colleges -- Marketing
Video tape advertising
College choice



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University