Universities: The Graduate-School Squeeze

In the world of scholarship, B.S. and B.A. diplomas have turned into routine pieces of paper; sheepskins with status carry the words "master" or "doctor." Three-fourths of all college seniors now say they intend to attend graduate schools. The 314,000 graduate students in the U.S. in 1960 have grown to 510,000 today.

Graduate applications have increased 75% in the past five years, partly because seniors apply to as many as ten schools — paying an application fee of about $10 for each—to guarantee acceptance somewhere. About 70% fail to land their first...

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