matching school screens (and summer)

Someone just asked a great question: if a school notes in the high school directory that they're looking for a minimum (for example) 89 average, should a student with an 85 average put it on their application?

For screened schools, this is where it gets a bit tricky. If it's a screened school that ONLY relies on data (grades, test scores, attendance), then kids are ranked purely on those criteria and, at the most selective screened schools, there will be more than enough kids who fit the screen to fill spots. 

If a screened school takes other things into consideration: writing samples, additional testing, interviews, auditions, portfolios, then those factors could count more heavily in a screen and could change a kid's chances at an offer. 

My son got an offer from Baruch, his 3rd choice. Being that Baruch has so few seats, it was surprising it didn't fill up with first round choices. But, they have an essay component to their admissions screen and someone in the know said Jack must have written a terrific essay, which ranked him higher than kids who listed Baruch first. 

There are so many variables to all this. The "hot" school also changes. It was Elro my daughter's year. 3 years later when my son went through the process, it was Baruch. 

I suggest, when touring, ask principals and administrators specific questions about your child and their screens to get a better sense of where things might fall. 

And happy summer vacation!