Our Crazy College Crossroads

    Over recent days the notices have gone out, an annual ritual of dashed hopes.

    Brown University offered admission to the lowest fraction ever of the applicants it received: fewer than 1 in 10. The arithmetic was even more brutal at Stanford, Columbia, Yale. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill had a record number of students vying for its next freshman class - 31,321 - and accepted about 1 in 6 who applied from outside the state. Notre Dame took about 1 in 5 of all comers.

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