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MIT ranks 7th in nation for parents' top picks

When parents of college-bound children dream about the best college for their children--if price and acceptance were no obstacle--MIT ranks among the top 10 choices.

Students, however, seem to be in more of a New York University state of mind.

MIT ranked as the number seven "dream college" among parents surveyed by the Princeton Review in its annual "2007 College Hopes & Worries Survey" released March 28. The number one choice among parents was Stanford. Students ranked New York University as their first choice, followed by Harvard.

In the survey of 4,594 college applicants and 1,260 parents of applicants, the most desirable schools as ranked by parents were (in order): Stanford, Princeton, Harvard, Brown, Notre Dame, Boston College, MIT, Northwestern, Yale and Georgetown. Students preferred (in order): New York University, Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, Columbia, Yale, UCLA, Brown, Georgetown and the University of Pennsylvania.

The survey also found that anxiety over picking a college has grown. About 65 percent of both parents and students surveyed reported having a "high level" of stress about the application process--up 6 percent from last year. A whopping 70 percent of both students and parents expect the cost of a degree to exceed $75,000. Only 8 percent said they will attend the college that is the "most affordable," yet 51 percent said getting financial aid would be "extremely necessary" to pay for school.

The 12-question survey, published in the Princeton Review "Best 361 Colleges: 2007 Edition," was conducted by mail and online from September to mid-March.

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