Specifically, if chancing a student, how much does a 35-36 ACT or 1550+ SAT raise that student’s chances for top 20 colleges in YOUR mind versus similar students assuming these students have acceptable EC, ample rigor, and a high GPA (say 4.0 UW) but no hooks.
I acknowledge that some schools value high stats more than others,
What is not clear to me is whether taking post-AP courses in a focused interest area or two at a university is regarded as "just taking courses," or whether it carries any actual credit with regard to admissions (I know it can carry college credit, depending on the college and the courses).
But, IMO, Chance Me's are rarely about assessing the true potential and more often about the OP looking for:
1) a pat on the back/ reassurance that "Ya done good kid"
2) an opportunity to brag
3) a lame attempt to scare the competition.
Some of us treasure our real time intro to the Jane comment and remember what it mocked.