"Colleges are masters at molding their interests into the behaviors of society."- Marla Brady, marlabrady.com
I love that quote, it so applies!
Here's the Business of College described in direct terms: a lower acceptance rate combined with a higher conversion rate of acceptances-to-enrollments drives the tuition costs higher and scholarships lower.
Let that settle in as you come to realize that those two factors drive the college business model. All actions of the college, from tours to test-optional policies to ED Applications are designed to drive those numbers in their favor. None of it serves your interests.
College tours? You hear what they want you to hear, see what they want you to see, and then send you home without visiting your intended department of study. It's their purest and cheapest form of marketing. How does that make sense for you?
Test-optional policies? Do you really think those are in place because colleges don't value SAT's any longer? That would be a fallacy. Rather, they are in place to drive up the number of applicants by making it seem more likely of an acceptance, serving to lower their acceptance rate...rather brilliant of them. But how does that work for you? Ask me about MIT...
ED Applications? Do you really think these are offered as a benefit to you? Please, ED Applications are the backbone of a direct-sales policy designed to intimidate student-families into feeling "obligated", obligated to enroll (driving the conversion rate higher) and obligated to pay full price. How does that feel?