Surprise. Surprise. The Ivy League and other elite universities have just gotten even more selective.
The Ivy League schools will be notifying applicants today whether they won the higher-ed lottery. And, according to some preliminary numbers gathered by The New York Times, more applicants will be receiving bad college admission news this year than ever before. Or, what is more likely, is that the tiny percentage of kids who are fixated by the Ivy mystique simply applied to a larger number of these schools.
Take a look at the increased 20101 college applications of some of Ivy League schools and other elite institutions:
School 2010 Percentage Increase in Applications
U. Penn 18.11%
I confess that I’m not going to feel sorry for the teens, who didn’t make it into Harvard. Here’s why: There are many colleges scattered across the country that will provide a better undergraduate education than Harvard and many of the elite universities.
Unfortunately, many smart students just reflexively apply to Ivy League schools because they don’t know what their other wonderful options are. These super smart students often limit their choices to their own state flagship university and the name brand elite universities primarily in North East that look impressive on a sweatshirt.
This tunnel vision drives me nuts. Clearly families don’t understand the type of undergraduate education that different types of institutions can provide.
I’d bet my own college degree, for instance, that most talented teens, who aim for the Ivy League don’t even know what the difference is between a college and a university. If you can’t answer that question, you are severely limiting your higher-ed choices.
For high school seniors, the college hunt is over. For everybody else, here are some of my previous college blog posts that I hope will broaden teenagers’ horizons. If you only read one of these posts, let it be the first one.
Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution and she also writes a college blog for CBSMoneyWatch. Follow her on Twitter.