It is important to get good grades and high standardized tests scores if you hope to attend an ivy-league school, but there are additional factors for admission consideration that you should be aware of and work on. Money isn’t necessarily a major factor either, considering all the financial aid reform and trust funds paying for tuition to middle and low income kids.
If you want your straight A grade point average and top 5% SAT scores to even get recognized, you’ll need to have some additional activities and experience on your resume. Science club? Latin club? Math team? Student government? Sports? Newspaper or yearbook? Yeah, you’ll need a few of those. Ideally, you should have some experience in one of the leadership positions like a club treasurer or president.
Also, top schools are going to want students who give back to their community. Spend some time helping out around town with various charitable and public service organizations. Local soup kitchens, habitat for humanity, or a neighborhood religious or civic center is likely to have great need for volunteer services. You’ll help your admissions, and you’ll help someone in need.
Remember: They don’t want this stuff just so you can say you did it. They will expect you to learn something and have grown as a person as a result of these experiences. It can be tiring, but try to reflect and expand your perspectives relative to the experience you’re building. You won’t regret it.