The subject of college admissions initially brings to mind the image of a highly selective college or university that faces the task of deciding who will be included among the small fraction of its applicants offered admission. In fact, of course, most colleges are not very selective. Indeed, many colleges will accept any high school graduate. These colleges have to work harder to recruit enough students to fill their freshman classes than to choose which of their applicants they will admit. Nonetheless, public perceptions of and debates about college admissions are shaped by the practices of the highly selective institutions, particularly the most prestigious private colleges and public universities that receive many more applicants than they have spaces in the freshman class.