By Nick Anderson April 1 at 8:00 PM 
Admission rates for super-selective colleges are headed in one direction: Down. Stanford, with the most competitive admissions in the country, this year edged below the 5 percent mark for the first time. Harvard’s rate, second-lowest among major colleges, hovers right above that threshold.

The admission rates are getting so low that a New York Times columnist joked that Stanford’s this year was 0 percent — with everyone denied access to the elite school; the truth is, if you apply to Stanford you probably won’t get in. It’s not quite at the vanishing point, but the real rate of 4.7 percent at the private university in Silicon Valley is still astonishing compared to a decade ago. For the class entering in fall 2006, Stanford admitted a share more than twice as large as this year (but still quite low): 10.9 percent.

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