As you decide on the colleges to which you will apply, how can you know the kinds of students those schools will be looking for? Well, if you ever figure that out successfully, drop me a line, because you and I will then become rich. It's a highly illusive art. Yes, there are general trends and tendencies, but the exact answer is unavailable. To cite a lyric from Paul Simon's song, Slip Slidin' Away, “The information's unavailable to the mortal man."
So, we do our research, develop our theories, and take our best shot. It's rather like playing the lottery. In fact, with the most competitive colleges out there — the so-called elite schools — it seems exactly like a lottery. There are so many dazzlingly qualified applicants that selecting the best ones could likely be done by pulling their names out of a rotating drum.