There is more than one factor such as how many AP courses a student has taken which, are taken into consideration when determining if one applicant is accepted to a particular school over another. Your overall GPA, rank, standardized test scores, activities, essay and recommendations all combine to give an admissions counselor a clearer picture of each applicant although nothing on paper can give that complete picture, each student is hoping to present through the essay, gives each a solid foundation for introductions! Still, the # of AP courses you take in school many will say does not matter but in reality, they do. On the other hand, the # of AP courses you take will have a larger impact when applying to those schools considered upper tier. Still, the grade is of more import than the designation. If you enroll in AP courses but do not achieve a solid A or B, the class will not make you stand out actually, it may in fact impact you in a less positive way. All that said, you need to enroll in those courses that will offer you the greatest challenge but not at the expense of your grade. There will always be arguments to be made for taking as many AP courses as a student can but my experience tells me to be sure one is up to the challenge in order to maintain a higher GPA. Good Luck!