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If we had to distill the college admissions process down to one key conundrum this year, it would be the lack of predictability. That seems to be the source of most of the important trends and concerns among admission officers, counselors, and families.

Recently, we were at Indiana University-Bloomington, filming "Ten Steps to College with the Greenes" for a national PBS show. During five days of shooting, we had the opportunity to engage with live studio audiences comprising Indiana high-school and middle-school parents and their children. During two evenings of question-and-answer sessions at the conclusion of our 10-step presentation, we heard loud and clear that the anticipated cost of college, and the prospect of incurring significant debt in order to educate a child, has become overwhelming.