Perfect ACT, SAT Scores Don't Guarantee Admission To Top Universities

With many high school seniors now receiving their final acceptance and rejection letters from some of the top-ranked schools in the country, perfection doesn’t guarantee a spot at Stanford, Princeton, or even Berkeley. As recently as five years ago, Stanford was rejecting about 69% of applicants with perfect SAT scores. A perfect score doesn’t come easy either — only 1% of students who take the SAT score a perfect 1600. Although top scores on either test are certainly special, admissions officers at elite universities are looking for something..... ahem ...... more special. Stanford calls its admissions screening “holistic” and is searching for “intellectual vitality” and extraordinary achievements among the piles of applicants. In fact, the university announced on Friday that it had accepted only 4.3% of its undergraduate applicants this year. Searching for the “secret sauce” of top-tier schools is causes many parents to hire outside college counselors, many for as much as $90 an hour. As we know from "Operation Varsity Blues” — the college entrance scandal involving two celebrities — some parents even resort to illegal means to get their kids into the top colleges. In the end, all counselors can do is stress to parents that there are hundreds of great universities to choose from, not just the Top 10.