I thought that because Harvard is so prestigious that it could sit back and let the best and brightest students come to it. I was wrong. In “How Harvard Gets Its Best and Brightest,” BusinessWeek reporter William Symonds explains the Harvard recruiting process.

In the spring it starts recruiting juniors who will graduate in a year. These juniors have stellar test scores, and Harvard buys their names from College Board, the organization that administers admission tests. The Harvard admission team goes to 140 cities in the U.S. and overseas. It also taps Harvard coaches, teachers, and alumni to find the best and brightest.

After the rigorous selection process, the admissions team recruits teachers, alumni, and students to start calling the students that it has accepted. In April Harvard invites prospective students to visit the campus for a weekend of where the admissions team has “something remarkable going on every minute.

This all sounds like great marketing to me.