Originally Posted by HowlerKarma
I don't necessarily think either of my prototypes is a stereotype or-- as 22B is implying-- a caricature of a modern college applicant. The bottom line is that those two prototypes actually DO exist in fair abundance, and they are the two most common models of students applying to elite schools.
Each of your (a) and (b) were combinations of several characteristics. But you can mix and match some properties from each list in numerous combinations. There's no way that these two very specific types could be anything other than two out of many possible very specific types of people.

I don't really need to know anything about the actual population of students to conclude that. It's just common sense. Your classification was in the same vein as saying:

There are two types of people:

(A) People who wear white shoes, orange pants, blue shirts, and brown hats,

(B) People who wear yellow shoes, red pants, green shirts, and grey hats.

The lists are so specific and so arbitrary, and it's so easy to think of many other possible kinds of people.

Originally Posted by HowlerKarma
If you are given the choice, having only ONE seat available, and you can choose:

a) student with top grades and test scores, with a set of three or four possible majors, interest in a wide variety of activities and skill at most of them, and who has leadership potential and clearly pro-social behavior beyond his/her years, versus...

b) student with top grades and test scores, a clear obsession for the stated major, and who has a competitive win-streak and is a bit of a social misfit and loner.

Which of those two applicants is the better choice, really?