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The College Solution: A Guide for Everyone Looking for the Right School at the Right Price by Lynn O’Shaughnessy

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23. Stop Hyperventilating

As Ivy League universities report—once again—that admissions rates have fallen to record lows, newspapers rush to publish stories documenting the increasingly “frenzied” (variants: “frantic,” “brutal”) competition among students vying for a coveted slot in an elite school.... There’s just one problem: It’s not true. The declining odds of getting into an elite college are mostly a statistical mirage, caused by confusion between college applicants and college applications.

—Kevin Carey, research and policy manager at Education Sector

Every spring, students and parents gasp when they read about the latest student casualties in the college admissions arms race. Each year, has seemed more difficult to get into colleges ...

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