Education: Fewer Freshmen?

This is a great year to apply to Harvard. The nation's best-known university is not being less choosy about admissions, but it has 11% fewer applicants to choose from. Harvard is not alone. Overall Ivy League applications are down about 6%, with the dips ranging from 3% at Princeton to 18% at Yale. In fact, this phenomenon is nationwide. At both Ohio State and the University of Wisconsin in Madison, for example, would-be freshmen have decreased by 24%—in a year when U.S. high school graduates are expected to increase by 4%.

Admissions officers doubt that the new draft lottery is freeing high-number...

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