Applying to colleges in the United States is a stressful, competitive process. In 1970, the acceptance rate at Stanford University was 22.4%. Today, only 5.7% of applicants are accepted into the school. Across the country, nearly every top school like Harvard, MIT and Yale are reporting record-low acceptance rates. The number of students applying to elite colleges is exploding, and those applicants have better test scores than ever. It’s never been harder to get into a selective university.