Re: ACT scores?
With all honesty, the difference factor in elite colleges are the essays. Out of all the tier 1 schools I applied to, I only got accepted to Georgia Tech. Coincidentally, GTech's essay was my best essay. I can't say for sure that the essays are the single most important factor because GTech also has a significantly high acceptance rate than the other schools I applied to. However, all signs indicate that. If you're looking to go into the sciences (engineering, etc) a strong math and science score will suffice. You shouldn't need to get a 34+ (although it would help).