1. STIFF COMPETITION

    Top College Acceptance Rates Fall

    STANFORD, CA - DECEMBER 17:  A woman studies at the Cecil H. Green Library on the Stanford University Campus December 17, 2004 in Stanford, California. Google, the internet search engine, has announced a long-term project to put 15 million books from seven of the world's most prestigious libraries online and make them searchable. Included will be the libraries of Harvard, Stanford, the University of Michigan, the New York Public Library and the University of Oxford, including the Bodleian. Books and periodicals will be scanned and project is expected to take six years and cost more than $100 million.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

    Justin Sullivan/Getty

    Despite the high price tag, prestigious private colleges are turning away high-school seniors in droves. The numbers for the 2013-2014 application cycle show the battle to get into one of America’s elite universities has largely only increased. While there are exceptions, such as Harvard, which rose from 5.8 to 5.9 percent in its acceptances, many schools hit historic lows this year. Stanford is believed to have the lowest acceptance rate in the nation at 5 percent, down from 20 percent two decades ago. Columbia, the University of Chicago, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania also saw declines in acceptance rates, the latter two to historic lows. Admission officials cite how much easier the almost-universal Common Application makes it to apply to multiple schools, as well as the increasing number of foreign students applying to add to the pool.

    Read it at The Los Angeles Times