straight from the gatekeeper...
IT'S not about the longest resume
She replied that it depends. Of course they want to see students doing both - demonstrating commitment to a certain passion, while participating in the full scope of extracurricular activities offered to high school students.
Ultimately, however, she emphasized accepting an applicant comes down to if the student is prepared to succeed at her school. Does the student's grades, test scores, letters of recommendation, and essay provide a composite sketch of the applicant's preparedness, including emotional maturity, to be successful at the university-level?
reconsider how you look at acceptance rates
Think about it: if a school is turning down qualified applicants left and right, you are about to enter a VERY competitive atmosphere. If you thrive on perceived competition, you stand to do well in this environment.
However, if you are someone who doesn't want to feel like you have something to prove from Day One, you might be more comfortable at a college with a higher acceptance rate.
visit prospective schools before applying
You can do campus tours, meetings with financial aid representatives, and even set up an overnight visit with current students. I remember doing a visit at Colgate University. The sophomore assigned to babysit me was fantastic, and her enthusiasm for the school was evident. Heck, I loved Colgate! But I did not love its location in rural upstate New York; something about the campus felt too isolated for me. And I never would have known if I hadn't been there in person.
It's no wizard of oz
And admissions counselors, like other educators, derive enormous satisfaction from playing a role in helping further a student's academic and professional goals.