http://www.usnews.com/articles/educ...colleges-face-budget-cut-threats-in-2011.html Okay so I'm thinking that these budget cuts might reduce the number of graduate students many of these universities can take. And as a result, they might make graduate admissions at these universities more competitive. I'm considering applying to the universities with less stringent budget cuts - not only because they might make graduate admissions more competitive, but also because they might decrease the quality of the graduate student experience too. Do I have a valid concern in this? I'm mostly focusing on astrophysics departments although I might also apply for physics departments.