Why perfect GPAs don’t always make perfect applicants

Which of these students is more appealing to colleges?

1. The straight-A student who’s spent his high school years obsessed with his GPA.  He does extra work only if it comes with extra credit.  He had his parents argue with his Spanish teacher to get his lone “B,” raised to an “A.”  He always asks during the first week of classes if participation is counted towards the final grade (if it's not, he doesn't participate).  He's tired and burned out and can’t tell you what his favorite subject is.

2.  The mostly-A student who always gets “B’s” in math but still tries her best.  She loves literature and took some college level creative writing courses during the summer just because she was so interested in them.  She loves participating in her English classes and talking to her teacher after school about books.  She's happy, she looks forward to going to school every day and she can’t wait to join a book club in college so she talk Shakespeare with other lit-geeks. 

Both students have proven that they can do college level work.  Both have great work ethics and both have achieved impressively in high school.  But there’s more to the second kid.  She enjoys school and likes learning new things. She’s curious.  Her love of learning paints her as someone who will keep being that same happy and engaged kid once she gets to college. 

And a lot of colleges will take her before they take the student with the perfect GPA.