theodp writes: Back in the day, proponents of what was known as the Wisconsin Idea held that that the purpose of a public university was to serve the state's residents. But, according to a surprisingly candid new survey of admissions directors by Inside Higher Ed, that quaint idea is giving way. An ideal student these days, from many colleges' point of view, is increasingly about money. Among all four-year institutions, the admissions strategy judged most important over the next two or three years — driven by high figures in the public sector — was the recruitment of more out-of-state and international students, who pay significantly more at public institutions. The interest in full-pay students is so strong that 10% of colleges report that the full-pay students they are admitting have lower grades and test scores than do other admitted applicants. Concern was also expressed about the use of controversial commission-based agents to boost international student enrollments (Federal law bars the use of such agents to recruit American students).'This isn't about globalization or increased educational diversity,' says USC's Jerome A. Lucido. 'They need the money.'