Why have university admissions become so competitive?

By the spring of 2008, the admissions rate at Harvard University had fallen to 7.1 percent out of an applicant pool of over 27,000 for the class of 2012. Stanford University, also reported an admission rate lower than ever before that same year —9.5 percent, down from 12 percent five years earlier.  The simple explanation for why it is harder to get into four-year colleges now than ever before seems to be supply and demand: more high school graduates than ever are competing for seats in the freshman class. Part of the increase in the USA is the result of immigration, especially from Asia and Latin America, but most of the growth is due to the children of the Baby Boom generation that created the great demand for higher education in the decades after World War II.

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