Col­lege ad­mis­sions

The Washington Post Sunday - - OUTLOOK - By Va­lerie Strauss

Most high school se­niors have now heard back about their col­lege ap­pli­ca­tions, a process of­ten cast as a kind of “Hunger Games,” with young Amer­i­cans bat­tling it out for a chance to at­tend one of more than 3,000 four­year de­gree­grant­ing col­leges, seek­ing help wher­ever it may come, be­liev­ing that the re­sult will de­ter­mine the course of their lives. But de­spite the crush of ad­vis­ers prof­fer­ing their sup­posed ex­per­tise for money, the en­deavor is shrouded in mis­con­cep­tions: that col­leges don’t check ap­pli­cants’ so­cial­me­dia pages, that world­fa­mous peo­ple like the Obama daugh­ters can get into school with lit­tle more than a good rec­om­men­da­tion, that most stu­dents aren’t ad­mit­ted to their first choice. (They are, but many can’t at­tend be­cause of the cost.) Here are five of the most stub­born.

TI­MOTHY A. CLARY/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE VIA GETTY IMAGES

Com­mence­ment in May 2016 at Columbia, one of the Ivy League uni­ver­si­ties — which aren’t nec­es­sar­ily the coun­try’s most selec­tive.

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