Basically there are 3 tiers for a coach:
- Tier A/1: You get in on your academic merits
- Tier B/2: Admissions requires "coach support"
- Tier C/3: Just not good enough
I believe there's quite a bit of latitude with Tier B/2, but there are only so many a coach can use in that Tier.
The number of "test optional" schools are growing each year, which can help with the SAT/ACT scores.
School profile and class rigor are very important factors. You will need a good number of honors/AP classes, if your HS offers them.