I think that you want a balanced study body with a variety of activities. And Harvard alumni that give generously love going to the Harvard/Yale football game. There is a dinner the night before the game for alumni that give more than 10K that year. You want a student paper, a dance team. CA schools like tennis and water polo scholarships. No one wants to go to a school that has 100% of the kids with perfect math SATs. Without being politically correct, there is a high number of Asian ethnicity that have great math and science scores that play piano or violin. I say that because DD's school has about 60% of the student body is like that. Her school is about 85% east asian, 5% ethnic Indian and rest ethnic European. About 70% of the parents want their kids to go to US schools. Girls that play hockey tend to get recruited easily. A school with HG kids in accelerated math and science, and a girl playing hockey can pretty much count on getting recruited to an Ivy school. Obviously she has pretty good scores if she is at the school, but that counts big. Because the envelope of kids that have perfect math SATs is so big, how do you choose?