My perspective is somewhat unique, since I have a close association with today's high schoolers seeking to get into highly competitive colleges. I get to know their parents, too. Plus, I scour the College Confidential discussion forum several times every day to check the pulse of students and families. Sometimes that pulse feels like tachycardia!
Anyway, my daughter agreed with me about the ongoing angst that she sees among her students as they aspire to get into the schools of their dreams, many of which are Ivy League and other Top-20 institutions. We discussed what the process was like for her, when she applied to college, back in the late Eighties.