6.3 percent projected admit rate
With an all-time high of 35,000 applicants this year, it's never been harder to get into Harvard. The school saw a 15 percent increase in the number of applications over last year's record 30,489 and has no plans to increase its class size. (It can't. There aren't enough beds!) Harvard, which just announced that it will bring back its early admission program, is on track to accept a record low 6.3 percent of applicants this year compared to 7.2 percent last year—30,489 applicants for 2,205 spots—and 9.3 percent five years ago. The good news: "Ivies are the cheapest schools to go to because they give better financial aid," says Michele Hernandez, president of Hernandez College Consulting. "The hardest part is getting in."