Tweet Your Way Into the University of Iowa B-School?

by Charles C. Johnson

USA Today carries the story:

At the University of Iowa, a good tweet is worth $37,000.

That’s the price of a full scholarship, and that’s exactly what a student hopeful can win in a contest the university has dreamed up that takes electronic communication to a new level. The university is asking prospective students to submit a 140-character tweet in place of a second essay

At 140 characters and with tuition at $37,000, it works out to roughly $265 a character, so choose well, applicants. 

I know brevity is the soul of wit, but what does it say about our souls that we are producing business leaders that prefer tweeting to writing? 

Well, I’ll let one of the applicants have the last word: 

University of Iowa alum Kinzie Dekkenga has considered going back to school for a few years, but “life got in the way,” and it wasn’t until she saw the scholarship offer on Facebook that she decided it was time to apply.

“I saw it and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh! Why not?’” Dekkenga said. “Taking the burden off the 800-word-essay was a huge incentive. I am on social media almost every day, so it’s more comfortable to tweet than to write an essay.”

Dekkenga worked on the tweet for five days.

“It turns out . . . having to simplify your thoughts down was much harder than I thought,” Dekkenga said. “I sat on the Twitter page and just kept typing things, but I was always 100 or 200 characters over.”

Phi Beta Cons

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