How many college students use online dating

That's a really dangerous place to be," says Mandee Heller Adler, founder of South Florida-based International College Counselors.

Visit college campuses, reach out to admissions officers and if a representative from the admissions office comes to your school, show up, says Adler, co-author of "From Public School to the Ivy League: How to Get into a Top School Without Top Dollar Resources." Then tailor applications to show you know about the school, and why it's the right match for your skills and interests. because it's really easy to apply to a range of schools," Adler says.

The nation's top universities get more selective every year, but that doesn't mean you're out of luck, says John Katzman, founder of The Princeton Review, Noodle Education and 2U.

The total number of slots at top schools have increased, he says.

The cost of consultation services varies by provider but is dependent on the breadth of help given, according to the Independent Educational Consultants Association.

"You can only have so many computer scientists and engineers in a school," Hernandez says.

What we found was encouraging: exclusive scholarships and inexpensive credits; options beyond the four-year college treadmill such as apprenticeships and digital badging; even resources for planning classes more effectively and picking better roommates.

We also found new tools for choosing the right school, studying smarter and lowering the steep costs of a college education.

Critics complain that lower-level courses encourage the regurgitation of facts over true learning.

And many students graduate with piles of crushing debt.

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