How can a student get accepted at Harvard, rejected from Brown, and waitlisted at Yale?
With those schools & certainly many others it's always a crap shoot, and I can speak from experience as to their admissions policies. Sometimes it's too many students with a specific ethnic background or too many students from the same high school who apply. For very high profile students, it's extremely important to spread your options & apply to 8-10 or even 10-12 colleges. To avoid the above situation, students must present themselves differently and out of the box. One of the strategies I use is getting non-applicants on campus interviews in the 10th & 11th grade. It's never too early to begin the process. I like to start working w/kids just before they enter high school or very soon thereafter.