It's interesting to see how the minimum standards to get into Harvard have changed over the years - it's certainly true that it's harder to get into the top schools as each year passes. Take a look at this passage from the article:
"What kind of kid doesn’t get into Harvard? Well, there was the charming boy I interviewed with 1560 SATs. He did cancer research in the summer; played two instruments in three orchestras; and composed his own music. He redid the computer system for his student paper, loved to cook and was writing his own cookbook. One of his specialties was snapper poached in tea and served with noodle cake.
At his age, when I got hungry, I made myself peanut butter and jam on white bread and got into Harvard.
Some take 10 AP courses and get top scores of 5 on all of them.
I took one AP course and scored 3."
It's simply incredible the pressure that students are under nowadays to get into the best undergraduate and graduate programs. About a month ago I read in the Wall Street Journal how last year most of the top colleges and universities rejected record numbers of applicants. But the lesson to learn is that getting "rejected" from Harvard doesn't make someone less special; it just means that person has a chance to go do great things at another school.