I have been following this thread with interest, having launched two kids into college, and am very aware of the pitfalls and minefields in college admissions.

Very aware of how gifted high school students and their parents are often unprepared for the admissions game (and I'm not referring to pricey volunteer trips overseas), and wrote a blog post about this, if any are interested: http://giftedchallenges.blogspot.com/2014/11/ten-essential-tips-to-help-your-gifted.html