I have nothing to add on the actual topic!

...but I did want to say, as someone who has had a chance to see a bit of life for a DC on the other side of college applications, that it is possible to have an excellent educational experience and college life at a university that isn't all that highly selective, for a reasonably motivated student who intentionally pursues mentoring opportunities with faculty, and whatever form of social life interests them.

I would agree that, on both sides of the college application process, less is more. The application process can temporarily distort one's life perspective into too miniscule a focus, during a period of time when young people should be balancing future planning with enjoying the waning moments of childhood. (We probably could have done with a little more focus on apps in ours, but the last year of high school was also unquestionably a happy and satisfactory one for DC, and the outcomes have so far been what DC wanted.)
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...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...