In Australia and elsewhere, market-based reforms to the higher education sector have fuelled a reconceptualisation of students as ‘customers’ or ‘consumers’. With universities now positioned as business enterprises, the ‘student-as-customer’ metaphor has become pervasive, spurred on by views that (a) universities must answer to students and (b) students see themselves as customers. This chapter challenges the veracity of this metaphor by teasing out what becoming a university student actually means to young Australians. It does so through the unique perspective of prospective university students – the very individuals the sector is hoping to attract. Drawing on focus group data from 310 primary and secondary school students who aspire to higher education, Bourdieu’s concept of illusio, one’s interest in a particular game or field, is utilised as a theoretical lens with which to explore the different ways these students express early interest in university as a future educational pathway. Five characterisations of illusio are provided – ‘work-oriented’, ‘scholastic’, ‘social’, ‘emancipatory’ and ‘quixotic’ – demonstrating a wide gamut of aspirations that have largely been disregarded given the ubiquitous ‘student-as-customer’ metaphor. The authors argue that this metaphor is vastly out of step with the way young Australians envisage their future selves in relation to higher education.