Originally Posted by pvaudio
(note: I did not forget about test scores. For this caliber of school, they are absolutely meaningless and are simply a formality. GPA trumps all test scores.)
There are relatively a lot of kids with 4.crazy GPAs. I'm not trying to diminish the achievement, but a high +4.0 GPA is only one piece of the puzzle. Just for background, high school AP classes are usually graded on a 5.0 scale. Different schools have different offerings of AP classes. Most colleges will recalculate the GPA based on their interpretation of whether a class should be a 5.0 or a 4.0 class anyway. Basically, the transcript needs to be a sea of A's in tough, college prep/honors/AP classes.
The high school that this GPA was earned in matters too. The high schools are ranked.
The average SAT test scores for these types of colleges are over 2300 (2400 is max). A 2300 on the SAT is a lot tougher to do than a high GPA. If you're SATs are not up in that neighborhood, admission will be very, very unlikely.
The test scores matter.
But pvaudio's point is still valid. These schools have their pick of the very best students. You have to stand out among a very elite crowd. You have to have done high quality stuff that shows passion and excellence. Good grades, decent test scores, and just showing up to Spanish club isn't sufficient. And you have to do it in way that's reasonably easy for an admissions person to get their head around without spending an eternity reviewing your application.
Back to tennis, for only playing a year the kid is really doing well. Get him to plant that outside foot and set-up open on that forehand. I agree with the volley comments too.