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Quite honestly, I'm frustrated with the entire system. GPAs don't solely show a student's academic performance. Favoritism runs rampant in the grading process, and someone who is simply earnest in their attempts will be able to rank very highly.
I also forgot to mention that very prestigious schools tend to have more generous financial aid policies, a matter very much relevant to a student whose guardians refuse to pay over one hundred dollars a month for his higher education.
This is why we build lists with reaches, matches, and safeties.