Playing the College Admissions Game

Now here’s a shocker:  College admissions are getting even more competitive at Ivy League schools and other highly elite colleges.

That’s the conclusion of a new study, Playing the Admissions Game: Student Reactions to Increasing College Competition, which was written by profs at Harvard and the University of Michigan.

Reading the report would make many parents think that their children need to be darn near perfect to have any chance of spending four years at a first-rate school. But that’s nonsense. In a recent UCLA survey of college freshman across the country, more than 67% of students were attending their first choice school. So for the vast majority of high school seniors, creeping exclusivity is not an issue.

What is discouraging is that more students are trying to game the college admission process to get into elite schools. According to the research, students aren’t spending more time studying, but they are devoting more hours to test prep. Now that’s a sad reality.

Further reading: Gaming the System: College Legacy Admissions.

Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution.

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