NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Competition For Top Schools Intensifies

October 18, 1999

While there are still more college spots available to American students than there are applicants, competition is heating up for admissions to the best colleges and universities, experts warn. As a result, substantial numbers of high school students are filling out as many as 10 or 15 applications.

Admissions officials say that competition to enter the very best schools was heavy this fall and is expected to be the same next fall.

The U.S. Department of Education and the College Board report that:

  • A record 14.9 million Americans will be studying at colleges and universities this year.
  • Enrollment will jump 10 percent in the next 10 years -- with an increasing majority of college students attending school full-time.
  • Two-thirds of all high school students now go directly on to college.
  • More than two million students -- a record high -- took the SAT during the past school year.

While educators report that it is "getting insane" at the top echelon schools, it is also getting more competitive for admission to top state schools. More public universities are reportedly luring top students away from private schools than in the past.

Source: Rachael Smolkin (Scripps Howard New Service), "Students Try Harder as College Demand Rises," Washington Times, October 17, 1999.


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