Ah... Thank you, that clarifies things nicely.

So it is more fair to say that a transparent admissions process in such an elite institution would make yachting and jet-setting international travel "necessary, but insufficient" EC's along the route to admission.

I'm not seeing how higher difficulty on the SAT helps accomplish those goals.

I can see how for institutions with other kinds of goals, however, a more difficult/rigorous exam would be useful. I also see, though, how EC's will probably always be of significant value.

Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.