Is there any concrete evidence that (some?) elite institutions have lowered their academic standards by overemphasizing non-academic admissions criteria (such as extracurriculars)? Which institutions?

Do the faculty think their students are getting dumber?

What are the prospects for students who simply want to focus on their academics (plus some fun hobbies perhaps), and who totally ignore the non-academic criteria used by some institutions?

What about 10 years from now? Could the pendulum swing another way?

It seems that some institutions could do well by having purely academic admissions criteria.