Which of these two students would you accept?
You are an admissions counselor at a selective university. You are told that you must admit exactly one of these two students. Who will it be?
These two may or may not be based on people I know.
GPA: 4.00 (UW)
Class Rank: 1/500
APs: Mostly 4s and 5s
Awards: A few inter-school ones in one area
Isabella is a fairly typical high-achieving student with a few modest ECs in the field of, I don't know, physics or nursing. Isabella is taking a fairly standard set of AP classes in her senior year, say AP Euro, AP English Lit, AP Calc AB, AP Chem, and AP French. She is obviously very committed to her studies and tries to challenge herself to her wit's end but is good-natured though not one of the most intelligent people you've ever met. You're not sure what she'll contribute to the college atmosphere.
GPA: 3.70 (UW)
Class Rank: 70/500
APs: Mostly 5s
Awards: One or two quite impressive ones in one specific area
Stephanie has one interest and focuses on it. She seems fairly cold and distant but is obviously extremely intelligent. In her senior year, she is taking mostly blowoff classes (or at least ones that are perceived to be that way; let's say Painting, Woodshop, Filmmaking, and two gym classes, in addition to maybe one or two honors or AP classes - BUT this is only because she took all of the hard ones like AP Calc BC and AP Physics C earlier in high school, if not even in middle school. However, there are a few more she could still have taken in her senior year if she'd chosen to, which may create the effect of her not challenging herself). Stephanie is in a couple of clubs for fun but has little leadership. However, she has written one or two scientific papers and had them published.