Stealing Ivy League Advertising

The advertising for Ivy League Universities amuses and delights me in its boldness. How do you sucker a 17 year old into spending 4x as much on an Ivy League education vs going to a state school? The tangible and intangible promises schools use to make this seem like a good investment are rather clever. What if I could apply these same tactics to selling homes in exclusive subdivisions? Here’s what that might sound like.

  1. You must apply to live in this neighborhood. The homes in this neighborhood are reserved for the most intelligent, hardworking, and talented potential homeowners. We only accept 5% of the people who want to live here. It’s very exclusive. You will only be allowed to buy one of these homes if we think that you are destined to do great things in this world.
  2. You will be forever known by living in this neighborhood. For the rest of your life, you will be able to tell people that you lived here. You will be known by it. People will instantly know how smart and special you are because of your address. Yes, the homes are 3-4x the average price of similar homes, but this is your reputation.
  3. The best amenities are include in your mortgage. You will have access to a rock climbing wall, amazing library, and a beautiful dinning facility just down the road. Best of all, you will be paying for that delicious croissant you ate for breakfast when you were 19 years old for the next 10-25 years! When you live in this house, you don’t have to “pay as you go” for your entertainment and meals, instead you get to add it to your mortgage and pay interest on it long after you enjoyed your croissant!
  4. You can network with the other soon-to-be successful people who live in this neighborhood. The friends and contacts you will make by living in this home will help you secure employment for the rest of your life. Just think of all the networking that can happen during neighborhood bbq’s!
  5. Your name will go alongside all the other great minds who have lived here. All your idols have lived on this very street. And now you can too! In some small way, you are forever connected to them.

Sure you could pay $250k for a similar home, but don’t you see the value in this $750k house? Buying a home isn’t just about having a comfortable place to live. Look at all that is at stake! Yes, your payment will be a bit larger, but it will be worth it.

If the government ever starts giving out non-defaulting home loans to 17 and 18 years old who have never held a job, I think I will go into business developing these high end homes/neighborhoods. =) The poor kids won’t stand a chance.

I jest, I jest. I know sometimes uber expensive educations are terrific life choices. Mostly I tease because my lil’ brother earned both his Masters and his PHD from very well-known schools, and I love to give him crap. =)


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3 thoughts on “Stealing Ivy League Advertising

  1. And don’t forget that for the next 50 years, the homeowners’ association will call you twice a week to see if you’ll donate more money to the HOA. It’s for the benefit of future homeowners, after all! If you give enough, maybe they’ll even name the Ms. Montana Community Center after you.

    I actually don’t think Ivy League schools are the big issue here; in fact, many of them offer much more financial assistance than other schools because of their ridiculous endowments. What’s more troubling to me is the number of average students drawn into five or six figures of college debt at an average school who don’t know why they’re there, or even worse, drop out years later without a degree. The Ivy Leaguers will be fine; it’s the kids with massive debt and nothing to show for it who are in the worst spot.

    • Ha, the HOA. That’s funny! Yeah, they expensive schools can’t be written off, because the advertised price on any school can be very different to what someone might pay. My little brother with those 3 Ivy League degrees? He didn’t pay a cent. With scholarships and grants, he was actually paid a comfortable wage to attend!
      And I totally agree about the kids who don’t even know why they are there. There is so much pressure to go, and so much hype about how great it will be. A lot of kids get there and realize it’s a lot like high school. I have a friend who failed out of his freshman year and quite. $16,000 of debt and not a single passed class. 16k might not seem like a lot. Unless of course you are 19 and have no job.
      I think 17 year olds are in a tough spot. Between the advertising, the pressure from family, not really seeing any other “successful” options, well.. they just go. And sign up for the debt. With 5 kids at home, the motto is “When you have a good reason for being there, go.” But college is an expensive way to “figure” things out. If you want a great experience, be like Matt and travel. =) For 30k it’s a heck of a lot more fun than failing a bunch of classes and getting drunk on the weekend. What would your say your a budget for 2 is in Europe for 9 months?

      • I really like that motto for your kids. I sometimes feel hypocritical being a college graduate who questions the utility of college, but I was also hyper-aware that I was there to work my butt off getting high marks and had a reasonably clear sense of what I wanted out of it.

        I expect that we’ll net out around $3k per month total. For $30k each, we could travel for almost two years! And I bet our accommodations and dining are still better than the average dorm, too.