“Do I Want My College to be like Hogwarts?”

This high school student has been visiting many of the better American universities and thinks the schools are trying way too hard to make the “This School is Just Like Hogwarts!” connection with applicants. This wouldn’t be notable, I think, except she makes this complaint in her ‘Taking the Magic out of College’ essay on the Sunday New York Times editorial page.

Talk about shared text… (H/T to Richard of Augustana!)


  1. Arabella Figg says

    Definitely shared text. But as the author points out, colleges using this to recruit is silly.

  2. I think it should be noted that Middlebury’s Quidditch team was created by students who were fans of the books and thought the sport would be fun to play in the real world (And it is); it is not some grand scheme created by college recruiters to fool potential students about what the college does and does not offer. Obviously, the admissions takes note that the club could help attract students to the school, but this could be more along the lines of “We support student activities, however quirky!” not “Because students play mock Quidditch at our institution, you’ll be getting the Hogwarts experience!” Having visited Middlebury myself, I’m pretty sure the former is to what the author’s tour guide was referring. Clearly, she used the Middlebury reference out of context, although she made some valid points elsewhere.

  3. Emily Strand says

    I think her most valuable observation is that so many tour guides from various schools say the same things (HP related or no) to try and impress prospective students. It might behoove them to realize what they’ve come up with may not be so original.

    But yes, John, for your purposes it is a strong argument that this is THE shared text.

    I didn’t like the ending, though. Harry doesn’t get stuck in high school, does he?

  4. Emily Strand says

    AND she points up that all old school buildings look like Hogwarts to Americans. Sad but true.

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