Getting Into College

February 23, 1996 • Volume 6, Issue 8
Why is the competition for admission so fierce?
By Richard L. Worsnop


A college degree is no longer seen as a luxury reserved mainly for the rich and well-connected. The increasingly tight job market has made higher education a virtual prerequisite for career advancement, while sharpening the competition for admission to top-ranked colleges. At the same time, the declining number of traditional applicants has forced colleges to recruit older students and students from overseas, as well as members of underrepresented minority groups. With tuition and related expenses rising faster than the overall inflation rate, attending college often stretches the financial reserves of even middle-class families to the limit. But now many institutions are offering honors programs, merit scholarships and tuition discounts to high-achieving applicants to improve the schools' academic reputations.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Affirmative Action
Oct. 17, 2008  Affirmative Action Updated
Jul. 11, 2003  Race in America
Sep. 21, 2001  Affirmative Action in Undergraduate Admissions
Jan. 23, 1998  The Black Middle Class
Feb. 23, 1996  Getting Into College
Apr. 28, 1995  Rethinking Affirmative Action
May 17, 1991  Racial Quotas
Apr. 14, 1989  Is Affirmative Action Still the Answer?
Jul. 31, 1981  Affirmative Action Reconsidered
Mar. 30, 1979  Affirmative Action Under Attack
Affirmative Action
College Financing and Funding
Undergraduate and Graduate Education