You've heard this before: "It's harder to get into an in-state school than in past years."
While you might be inclined to pass this gripe off as just student sour grapes, it's actually true--at least according to this Wall Street Journal video. See, public universities are under pressure to not increase tuition, even as higher-education costs keep rising. How to balance the books? Accept more out-of-state and international students who pay more than twice the amount in-state students will.
After you stew about how unfair this is as a tax-paying resident, take some anecdotal solace with this thought: While your residency might restrict your access to that state school you've dreamt of your entire life, out-of-state schools will suddenly find you very attractive, so much so they do tend to offer money--enough to offset the out-of-state tuition difference.
One student from last year applied to fifteen schools: 1 in-state and 14 out-of-state. She got into them all and eventually earned enough merit scholarship money to make most of them reasonable and one almost free. (She applied ED to the state school, got in, and took the spot, despite the now comparatively higher price tag.)
However, what if you still want to go to your childhood dream school, home of the Fighting Tomatoes? Then become best friends with your college counselor, because chances are she'll know the tricks and hints that can help you get noticed.
A College Counselor who asks and answers the tough questions.