And You Thought It Was Hard to Get into Harvard College!

Enter Dudley House at 6 P.M. on a weeknight, and there is barely a murmur. Some students eat quietly in small groups while others pour over 17th century translations of Dutch trading memoirs.

Harvard graduate students are the best of the best of the best.

To be accepted into the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) seems on the surface to be the college application process all over again. There are the test scores. The recommendations. The general application. The personal statement.

Just one thing: it's incredibly difficult to get in. Admissions rates are as low as three percent.

But those who are accepted and choose to spend the better part of more than years in Cambridge are richly rewarded.

They work mostly with world-renowned professors--and then go on to win Nobel Prizes. Tuition for many is fully-funded.

Though every applicant fills out a generic GSAS application, the admissions process itself is extremely individualized, from department to department and from person to person.

"The academic admissions decision is made by a committee of faculty in your field. There is no single admissions committee," said Russ E. Berg, GSAS's dean of financial aid.