Hopeful2board, The schools are looking for nice kids who can succeed at their school by making best use of what the school has to offer. In my view the important things are: 1. Great personality 2. Interview 3. Grades, 4. Recommendations, 5. Essays, 6. ECs, and 7. SSATs (nice to be above 85% for HADES). If you have sports, legacy hooks, you can be below average in some areas. I think I scored well across the board with no hooks. But you don’t have to do that to get in. To recap, they look at your whole file, not one or two things. Focus on doing your best in all areas.
Ehphant, There are some repeat freshmen, but I am not sure how many in total. I am also young for my grade, but I am doing well. If you can handle the academics, I don’t think you need to repeat. But if you feel you will benefit from repeating, by all means.
Helloel, Most of the time the guidance counselors do it, unless you happen to know the Principal well personally. But for schools, it makes no difference as long as you have a good recommendation from either.