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is one of those books that, as you open it, expands like jelly in a jar — moving like an accordion, or (to borrow an image from the French novelist Jules Renard) a caterpillar over a leaf.Smith, like Goulish and Barbellion, is also reaching for that thing that survives loss, the pliant, gleaming thing, the brightest in the world.Enrollment at American colleges is sliding, but competition for spots at top universities is more cutthroat and anxiety-inducing than ever.
This year, for the first time, the admission rate for first-year applicants at U. Admissions directors at several top Eastern colleges agreed, saying that they now received more applications from California than any other state, which would have been unthinkable a few years ago.It’s my suspicion that, somewhere in all of this, she may have found it.With , her tenth book, Smith is the latest to dip into the possibilities of a hybrid form that seems firmly enough established by now to demand a whimsical portmanteau — essiction? — but resists that sort of nomenclature, in part, maybe, because it’s engaged not so much in stuffing the essay into fiction or vice versa as in enlarging the boundaries of each to encompass the other.“It was a crazy amount of work and stress doing all those essays by the deadline and keeping up my schoolwork, and waiting on the responses, and we had more than 0 in application fees,” he said. Madrid, 18, got a taste of how random the results can seem.He was among the 95 percent turned away by Stanford, but he got into Yale, which he plans to attend, and he admitted having no real insight into the reasons for either decision.Instead, counselors and admissions officers say, the pool of high-achieving applicants continues to grow, fed partly by a rising number from overseas.At the same time, students send more applications than they once did, abetted by the electronic forms that have become nearly universal and uniform applications that can make adding one more college to the list just a matter of a click.Seven years ago, 315 colleges and universities accepted the most widely used form, the Common Application; this year, 517 did.Students applying to seven or more colleges made up just 9 percent of the applicant pool in 1990, but accounted for 29 percent in 2011, according to surveys by the National Association for College Admission Counseling, and counselors and admissions officers say they think the figure has gone higher still.Deluged by more applications than ever, the most selective colleges are, inevitably, rejecting a vast majority, including legions of students they once would have accepted.Admissions directors at these institutions say that most of the students they turn down are such strong candidates that many are indistinguishable from those who get in.