"You Belong Here. Wherever your life may have started, and whatever its destination, there is a place for you at Harvard." -- Harvard University's website under Admissions, https://college.harvard.edu/admissions
Admittance rates at America's Ivy League universities continued to fall as the number of students applying for Class 2020 spots swelled to new records. Out of the nearly 44,000 students who applied to Stanford, a mere 4.7% were accepted or on the flip-side nearly 42,000 were rejected. Applicants at Harvard totaled 39,041 but only 5.2% were admitted versus 5.9% a year ago and down from 11% in 2009. Who said hope is dead when you have this many students applying in the face of such odds? Who said dreams aren't alive and beliefs aren't strong in our post-millenial, post-modern, post-industrial, digital age?
Out of the 36,292 who applied at New York City's Columbia, 6% were accepted. Columbia's Admissions Officers gushed in a press release over the quality of its record number of applicants ("amazed and humbled"). I'm not sure why they're so amazed when its campus is located where every cool TV and movie is set and given the great marketing lengths universities go through these days, but I have no doubt they're indeed thrilled: At $50 to $110 a pop, coffers increased by millions on application fees alone - before a tuition check even written.
All of these children benefit universities in other ways, too. Since a school's admittance rate is the key statistic used in college rankings, how a college itself 'scores', it's incumbent for these universities to play Pied Piper with talk of you-have-a-chance-to-get-into-our-prestigious-school so as to get more and more children sending in applications. The more children a school can reject, the lower its admissions rate falls and its ranking rises. Climbing up one 'best college' list after another adds yet more magic dust to their images and creates a snowball effect of ever more exclusivity, ever more demand. Let the University Arms Race continue!
To Be Continued