In a recent report, the top Ivy League schools across the country stated they have had dramatic increases in the amount of students applying for the very few open positions they will offer for the 2009-2010 year. Likewise, smaller, more expensive colleges reported a drop in their numbers of applications while larger, state schools (traditionally less expensive) have seen huge increases in the amount of applications for their positions and a lot of them have considered opening up additional classes, boosting class sizes, and opening their doors to many more commuter residents, even on a one-year trial basis in order to give more students their necessary college education.
The bottom line: Don't give up on the Ivy League, and that community college or state college close to home that you'd like to commute to while saving more money because you're living at your parents might be a better idea today than it was just a few years ago. Nowadays, the college that you graduate from means a lot less than it did just a decade ago: community colleges are well-respected, same goes for online colleges (U. of Phoenix, Kaplan, etc.), and state colleges. And if you do happen to get into the Ivy League, cherish your acceptance; there are many more students who applied for the position you're in. Each spot in Harvard is now a 1 in 18 shot, up from one in 17 last year. Doesn't sound too bad, right? Well, when you consider that close to 30,000 applicants aren't considered in this figure because their applications either don't meet the basic requirements or they applied as a 'joke' or 'on a whim' without merit, prior querying, etc.