College is hard(er) to get into

On April 1, millions of high school seniors received rejection letter upon rejection letter from the nation’s top colleges, and it was not an April Fools joke. The incoming class of 2012 was a victim of the lowest college acceptance rates the nation has ever seen, according to The New York Times. Harvard led the pack with a record-low acceptance rate of 7.1 percent, followed close behind by Yale and Columbia at 8.3 and 8.9 percent, respectively.

Admissions requirements and class sizes have not changed dramatically — but application numbers have risen, making incoming college students the cause of their own heightened numbers of rejections.

In 2006, the National Association for College Admission Counseling reported many seniors having applied to at least 11 colleges, with over 32 percent applying to at least seven.

Our message for incoming college students is this: Relax a little. Reach high, but be realistic. Don’t apply for the sake of applying, and maybe acceptance rates will go back to being higher than the number of colleges to which you apply.