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Talent & education

Get in line, kid. It’s a long one.

The University of Michigan released data on the application process for next year’s freshman class, and it is eye-popping:

Provost Philip Hanlon told a group of faculty Monday that the school has received 41,600 freshman applications to date, compared to 38,700 at this time last year. U-M received 39,570 applications total for entry to the 2011-2012 freshman class, a record at the time and a 25 percent increase from the previous year. Hanlon said he expects applications this year to outpace last year’s record by 10 percent.

The reason for the boom? As Bridge reported earlier this year, it’s the common app, the one-size-fits-most online application that makes it easy to ask admission from multiple schools. Click the box, maybe write a supplemental essay and throw another charge on the credit card.

The app is here to stay, most agree; it’s win-win for students and schools, the latter of which can see their selectivity (and, hence, desirability) improve without having to do much other than read a few thousand more applications.

What that means to hopefuls who find themselves competing against students for whom Michigan is their sixth choice is probably just this: More anxiety and senior-year drama.

As for Danny Schrage, the young man at the center of the Bridge story linked above, whose outstanding credentials only qualified him for deferred admission in the early rounds of the process, he finally got an answer: He’s in. He’s waiting to hear from a couple of other schools, but “leaning strongly toward U of M,” he said. Congratulations, Danny — you beat some pretty impressive odds.

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