What the Experts Say About Getting Into College

  • College applicants today have better grades, higher test scores and cooler extracurricular activities than ever. If the rush to get into the best-known, top-tier universities is a foot race, the track is now clogged with four-minute milers.

  • For some, getting into college has turned into an extreme sport. The ecstasy may not be worth the agony.

  • The dread of opening college letters in April--one of the most anxious moments in an American family's life--will only intensify as more students apply in the next few years.

  • What you need is something to make you stand out in the face of daunting competition. The application process is your opportunity to sell yourself to the college, it pays to be creative.

  • Schools that once were happy to catch the applicants who fell off the narrow path to Princeton no longer see themselves that way. Today, they have enough applicants to turn away most of them.

  • The old pecking order has broken down. Ivy prestige is getting spread around. Increased competition means the traditional "second choices" are disappearing from the admissions landscape.

  • "Everybody's so caught up in the names," says a counselor. Picking a college shouldn't be like choosing a brand of sneaker. You have to match your needs to a school’s strengths.

  • Even as students scramble to get into the best colleges, colleges are scrambling to attract the best students. Universities are acting more like big businesses, and the hot new word is "marketing."

Source: Kaplan Newsweek: "How to Get Into College"