Will my class rank stop me from getting into Brown?
I am concerned about my class rank, as I read that 99% of the accepted class is in the top 10% and I am in the top 15% of my class (31 out of 231). Will the class rank kill my application if the rest of it is really strong which I think it will be by the time I apply? If, say, I get a short story published in Asimov's Science Fiction (which I am planning to do), and my essay is really awesome (which I think it is), my SAT and subject test grades are really great (the subject tests are already 750+ and I'm aiming for over a 2200 when I retake the SAT in October), a challenging course load (9 APs), and my extracurriculars are good and varied, do you think I would have a decent chance?
I don't really feel like listing my whole detailed resume with grades and everything because it's too much trouble and I'm sure you don't care that much.
The question is really about whether class rank will make or break the admissions decision if the rest of the application is really good.
Have students from your school in the past with your class rank gotten into schools like brown? As has been posted several times in the last couple months (use the search function next time) some high schools have kids well beyond top 10% going to fantastic schools, but most don't.
The first comparisons will be made with how you did on standardized testing and what your essays will say. You will then be seen in terms of what your particular school offers its students and how you performed there, and perhaps you will be in competition with others from your school. You are not really being compared to how other students in other schools did with their programs, because schools are so different in what they offer. So I think your rank will have an impact, because other students with the same opportunities as you have did better with the same programs. But it won't be the only criterion.
Brown will NOT look at your rank and then, based solely on that, shelve your application and send you a denial.
However -- if you look at this, Admission Facts | Undergraduate Admission, you'll see that only 2% of students ranked in the second tenth of their class got in. Those 2% were most likely recruited athletes, development cases (their parents are very very wealthy), from schools like Stuyvesant, from a heavily desired geographic area or a heavily desired ethnic minority.
You need to bring something truly special to the table to be accepted by Brown with your rank. There are exceptions to every rule, of course, and I'm not saying that you shouldn't apply because one never knows (and none of here are in admissions), but recognize that your chance of acceptance is very very slim.
Do you think that the Brown adcom would view making it as an NMSQT semifinalist as an offset to a class rank concern and help him make it past the first cut?
Our S will likely graduate at about the top 11-12% point in his class of over 800 - his very competitive school is ranked #706 out of 26k high schools in the US (I think it was by USNWR or Princeton Review), he took every honors and AP class he could and still will graduate with a 3.8 (uw). But since as noted above Brown only took 3% of the <top 10% class ranked kids, most of whom were recruited athletes, might the additional scores recognition help overcome his class rank, get him far enough in the evaluation process that they'd at least read his essays and recommendations?
ericd1112: I'm not an admissions officer, but I don't think it quite works that way. As I said, I don't think Brown shelves an application based on a "low" rank. His essays and recommendations will be read no matter what. There are enough NMQT semifinalists that I don't think that accomplishment alone will get him any further.
What matters here is the high school profile. I suggest that if you haven't already, go to the GC and get a copy of it. Does your school have naviance? If it does, you really should check out the acceptances of students with your son's rank in the past. That will give you the best idea of how your son will do in the admissions process, how selective colleges view that rank and whether they go deeper into the pool to accept students from your HS.
The problem you face is that, with an acceptance rate below 10 percent. when 90 out of every 100 students who apply do not get in, Brown can accept the tippy top of the applicant pool. Thousands of students who are ranked in the top 1 percent don't get in.
^Thanks! I'd been on Naviance before, and he'd told me that you could see how he stacks up against other applicants from his school over the years, but I hadn't seen it myself. His GPA - as it ought to be when he'll apply - is .1 lower than the accepted average from his HS but his test scores are all higher than the average. That said, it's a very popular college for his HS so the total accepted rate is still under 10% of the applicants from there.
So...I'm telling him that he should still apply. Life truly is too short and he'd wonder forever if he didn't, plus, yeah, yeah, I know, all kids are "unique" but this one really is, and in a good way. He really has very good reasons why Brown in particular, for what he wants to do and who he is, would be the optimal school for him. Sure it's a bit of a reach but at least some reaching is good.
Thanks for the info and suggestions.