By Jasmine Weis
In 1636, Harvard University was founded, earning itself the epithet as “the oldest institution of higher education in the United States.” And while there is still controversy surrounding the validity of this claim, with the University of Pennsylvania and College of William & Mary also vying for the coveted title, there is no denying that universities have had a significant presence in American society for centuries.
Colleges have evolved from exclusive institutions reserved for wealthy white men to a a socially accepted and expected rung in the educational ladder. While there is still a wide racial gap in the amount of people obtaining college degrees, more high school graduates are enrolling in universities than ever before. And while the spike in students pursuing higher levels of education should be applauded, more people applying to colleges translates to fewer openings. This inevitably leads to increased competition, so it’s no surprise that these days applying to college feels like playing the most intense game of musical chairs ever.