I was not engaged in the fat envelope frenzy myself, which in retrospect I think is a little sad. I wish I'd worked harder in high school, and had people supporting and encouraging me, and better Guidance. (If they'd told me to fill out one freakin' form, I could have had a scholarship, but because I was in a vocational program--performing arts--I missed the college prep sessions. That's pretty bad, right? Granted more of us kids in the arts that rode the tech bus were probably headed to college than those going to auto mechanics and cosmetology programs, but there's a bit of a chicken and egg argument to be made.) I probably ended up in the right place for what I needed--smallish school, college town, but sometimes I wonder... My nephew made a comment when he was a high school senior that it doesn't matter/schools are all the same, or some such thing. I hated to burst his bubble, but that is simply not true. I think all schools have different things to offer, not so much that they're better or worse than one another. But it's easy for me to speak about college admission from the distance of twenty plus years after writing my applications.