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Survey: Stanford No. 1 'dream' college among applicants

Stanford is the No. 1 "dream" college of prospective freshmen, according to a survey by the Princeton Review, a company perhaps best known among college-bound high school students as the purveyor of books and courses on the PSAT and the SAT.

It was the first of 13 questions—and the only fill-in-the-blank-question—on the annual "College Hopes and Worries Survey," which the company has conducted since 2003.

This year's survey findings are based on responses from 12,715 high school students who have applied to colleges and universities, and 3,007 parents of college applicants.

The survey asked: What would be your "dream" college? What college would you most like to attend (or see your child attend) if chance of being accepted or cost were not an issue?

High school students named Stanford as their first choice; Harvard was their second. The choices were reversed for parents, who selected Harvard first and Stanford second.

Among the "worries" highlighted in the findings was concern about paying for college; 86 percent of students and 81 percent of parents said financial aid would be "very" or "extremely" necessary to pay for school.