You are correct if you feel that colleges are more selective today than "back in the day" when you (parents) applied to college. Northeastern University accepted 78% of applicants 20 years ago, but only 19 percent today! Take a look at these surprising statistics:
COLLEGE 1998 Accept rate 2018 Accept rate
UMass Amherst 74% 60%
Boston College 40% 27%
Colby College 34% 13%
Boston University 79% 25%
Tufts University 33% 15%
Williams College 26% 12%
Northeastern University 78% 19%
Bowdoin College 31% 10%
Wesleyan University 32% 17%
Amherst College 23% 13%
Some of the change can be attributed to an increase in the number of students in the US and applying from other countries. Also contributing is that some students apply to a greater number of schools now than they did back then. In Northeastern's case, I would also say that students and parents value the Co-op program, which allows many students to graduate with job experience and often an offer, more than ever.
Even with these statistics, my students should not have any surprises when decisions are released.
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