Education: Pot and College Applications

What's the real reason behind the increase in applications to Colorado's colleges and universities?
March 19 2014, 11:10 AM

Duuude, I'm gonna get so educated.

Applications to many of Colorado's colleges and universities are on the rise and the popular marijuana magazine High Times thinks it knows the reason. Any guesses?

Here, an excerpt from the magazine: 

University of Colorado Director of Admissions Kevin MacLennan says that applications to the state-run university system are up 30 percent since Colorado passed Amendment 64, but he doesn’t believe legalized marijuana had anything to do with it. Instead, MacLennan points to increased high school recruitment and adoption of a standardized online application system called “Common Application.”

That excuse doesn’t seem to hold water. Many universities throughout the nation have added “Common Application” and all of them recruit from high schools. It also doesn’t explain how Colorado’s smaller colleges without the big recruiting power of a pubic PAC-12 university, like the private liberal arts school Colorado College, are also seeing dramatic increases in enrollment applications. Their vice president for enrollment, Mark Hatch, thinks it’s just part of a longer-term trend, explaining, “This year is no different, so there is no evidence that our increase [is tied] to Amendment 64.”

There's also this, from Mike Hooker, Colorado State University's spokesman, who apparently doesn't understand how high school students' brains work (or who, for obvious reasons, might not want his school to look like a stoner magnet). He told High Times: “I have a hard time believing that someone is going to make that kind of significant decision about investing in their education based on whether they can smoke marijuana in the state.”

Of course, there's one major caveat: You have to be 21 to smoke legally in Colorado. But, then again, when did a teenager think anything through?

—Image courtesy of Shutterstock