College applications have gone wild, reports the New York Times. Selective colleges urge students to apply, streamline the online application and then brag about how few students are admitted.
Stanford received a record 32,022 applications from students it called “simply amazing,” and accepted 7 percent of them. Brown saw an unprecedented 30,135 applicants, who left the admissions staff “deeply impressed and at times awed.” Nine percent were admitted.
The biggest boast came from the University of California, Los Angeles. In a news release, U.C.L.A. said its accepted students had “demonstrated excellence in all aspects of their lives.” Citing its record 57,670 applications, the university proclaimed itself “the most popular campus in the nation.”
“They want you so they can reject you,” says Shaun Stewart, a senior in Minnesota who has a 3.5 grade-point average and scored a 27 (out of 36) on the ACT. He’s savvy enough to know his grades and scores are below average for the elite colleges that are sending him applications and brochures.