Higher education is first and foremost a business. I feel like this is something we know but don't often question enough to understand the effects.
When you are enrolled in a college or any other place of higher education, the institution itself, especially a larger institution, will very likely not see you as a person, but as your student ID number. Once they accept you, their brand is now attached to you and they will push you as hard as they can so they can claim part in your success. If you fail or do not represent them in the light they want to be seen in, they will disown you.
I'm not saying this to condemn higher education. A majority of my interactions with professors and staff at my college were very pleasant and personable. I do see the value in education and I am thankful for the opportunity to have gone to college. I am calling out higher education because I do not believe that a business mentality revolving around money is appropriate for an institution dealing with vulnerable young adults and nontraditional students.
One of the consequences of this mentality is what we're seeing in response to schools reopening during a pandemic. In my opinion, schools should not have reopened. For those universities that did open, I am positive that it was financially fueled. They looked purely at the numbers when they asked, should we have people dorm with us this year? For the universities that went fully remote, best believe they made a whole press release about it that could essentially serve as a marketing tool to make their university look even better. To sum it up, most higher education institutions care more about money than their students.
For all those in college or soon to be going to college, please keep in mind this business mentality of higher education. I will not say that all schools are run this way, but I will say I am certain most schools are run this way. Do not expect your institution to care about you. Instead, advocate for yourself as loudly as possible and when you can't, find people you trust to support you.