The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Wal-Mart has a lower acceptance rate than Harvard

This year's Ivy League admissions totals are in. The 8.9 percent acceptance rate is impressively exclusive, but compared to landing a job at Wal-Mart, getting into the Ivy Leagues is a cakewalk.

Last year when Wal-Mart came to D.C. there were over 23,000 applications for 600 jobs. That's an acceptance rate of 2.6%, twice as selective as Harvard's and over five times as choosy as Cornell.

This isn't an anomaly - last year a Wegman's in Pennsylvania boasted an acceptance rate of 5%, while Google only has room for one half of one percent of its job applicants.

Parents and students - particularly those from a certain socio-economic background - tend to obsess a lot over the college admissions process. The danger, of course, is that this single-minded focus on preparing kids for college - the extra-curriculars, test prep, admissions coaching, and the like - is coming at the expense of prepping them for the job market hurdles that come after.