Anxiety about college—getting in, paying, etc.—plays big roles in many YA novels, and yet I think its often an aspect that feels a little dated or underexplored in books and manuscripts I read. It’s a very complicated issue. College, to go or not, is rarely the question.
There’s a long piece on the New York Times web site that I think addresses the variety of issues presented by the college decision to modern teens. It’s even got a couple of first-person accounts. It’s well worth a look.