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No Application Recession

Harvard received more than 29,000 applications from prospective students this year — an all-time high. Dartmouth, Yale, and Brown also report jumps in the number of applications received. The result? The most selective schools in the country will be even more selective this year, adjusting their acceptance rates slightly downward. Harvard, for instance, will admit a mere 7 percent of its A-list applicant pool, down one percentage point. The Times says no broad conclusions can be drawn as to why the sudden surge in interest in elite universities, though it's possible well-advertised increases in financial aid availability have something to do with it. And not all schools are feeling the love — some remotely located colleges, like Middlebury in rural Vermont, have received fewer than usual applications, possibly because penny-pinching families don't want to lock themselves into four years of long car trips and air travel.