ok... Cornell attended my school... they basically said the same thing I guess Duke says... they said that the essay and GPA are things that can help you get in, while an SAT can not get you in, but can keep you out. The admissions rep. for my area said as long as you had a 1300 or above (out of state) for Cornell, you would be waived for the next round.... But, another thing they said was that 1/3 of people in Cornell had less than a 1300, so really it doesn't matter... it's probably for sports or sometihng.
I think the problem with the SAT is, people here post their SAT and GPA. IN reality, an SAT will NEVER earn you money at all in the real world, and good colleges know that other factors may be twice as important as an SAT.
Now, saying that, the top 25 colleges most likely want a student body with a 1200+ or maybe a 1300+... depends.
it's impossible to give neelash any % because we have not seen everything...