Competition for Ivy League schools stronger than ever

High school seniors across the country are making one of the most difficult decisions of their lives: where to attend college next fall. This decision, however, may be made easier than they prefer, as acceptance into Ivy League schools is more difficult than ever. According to an April 5 article in The New York Times, "Harvard turned down 1,100 student applicants with perfect 800 scores on the SAT math exam. Yale rejected several applicants with perfect 2400 scores on the three-part SAT, and Princeton turned away thousands of high school applicants with 4.0 grade point averages." Both Harvard and Columbia also boasted the lowest acceptance rates in their Universities' histories, with a mere nine percent and 8.9 percent respectively. The low rates were a result of a combination of a greater number of high school graduates and a larger portion of those attending college than previous years. In addition, one of the reasons may be the growing use of the common application which can be used for multiple universities.

Fierce competition is not limited to just the larger universities, as smaller schools are also feeling the pull by increasing applicants. For instance, Amherst College received 6,668 applications and accepted 1,167 students for its class of 2011 according to spokesman Paul Statt. In 2002 the college received 4,491 applications and sent 1,030 acceptance letters.