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Class Ranking

Garden MomGarden Mom Registered User Posts: 27 New Member
Good morning. I wonder if the community can help with a question concerning class ranking? My son's graduating class is only about 100 students. His gpa is 3.76 on 4.0 scale, and 94.02 on 100 point scale. This includes all classes taken. However, his class ranking is 31 out of 100. All of his electives have been honors classes in science, math, and social studies. In fact, he will have exhausted all those classes at his school by graduation time. Not all students elected to take these higher level classes as electives, instead choosing more mainstream electives (not honors level). My question is this - how can his less than stellar ranking be explained in relation to other students in his graduating class? He also was 1 of 4 students recognized by National Merit Scholarship.
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Replies to: Class Ranking

  • 3scoutsmom3scoutsmom Registered User Posts: 4,382 Senior Member
    Your GC should send in a school profile that explains your schools ranking system (all schools do it differerently) unless your son is applying to a Texas Public School rank isn't a big deal and they we look at your son's course rigor. If you are looking at Texas Public Schools his application will be looked at for holistic review since he's not in the top 10%

    If your son is a NMSF this will open many doors for school that value National Merit Scholars, which schools are you looking at?
  • BKSquaredBKSquared Registered User Posts: 383 Member
    edited October 5
    I assume the ranking is based on unweighted gpa. If it was based on weighted gpa, then rigor would have been factored in some way in his ranking. I would talk with your GC to confirm that he/she will include how rankings are determined in the school report. If rankings are based on unweighted gpa, he/she might be willing to ballpark what your son's ranking might have been if the school had applied a weighted scale. Schools usually separately take rigor into account when they assess transcripts.
  • Erin's DadErin's Dad Super Moderator Posts: 34,272 Super Moderator
    It should all be in the school profile as stated by @3scoutsmom above.
  • Garden MomGarden Mom Registered User Posts: 27 New Member
    Thank you for helping me understand the way rankings are figured out. His transcript only gives one type of ranking and there is no mention of whether it's weighted or unweighted. Teacher conferences are coming up and it sounds like I should maybe set an appt to see the GC and ask a few questions.

    I wish our son was NMSF but he is actually a commended student. As for schools we're looking at, mid size universities that offer engineering seem to be the sweet spot. So far, he's applied to UA Huntsville, Southern IL Univ, Univ TN, and Univ Memphis. He's been accepted to all. He's also really interested in GA Tech. He may apply to Mercer. His stats are high enough to be accepted but scholarships are paramount to his decision on where he will attend.
  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys Registered User Posts: 15,194 Senior Member
    Yes, some schools do a "straight ranking"....that occurred at my kids' school so my kids fell in the ranking against kids with all As and no difficult coursework. The straight ranking was on the transcripts, but the explanation was in the school profile.
  • snowfairy137snowfairy137 Registered User Posts: 1,797 Senior Member
    My rank is not as good as it used to be bc although I have a 4.0 my school weights class rank for harder classes. Thats fine, but the problem is, they weight the dual enrollment college classes Im taking as regular classes (4.0), not AP (5.0). My counsolor is explaining this in my letter of rec for colleges, so hopefully they'll overlook that and my transcript, test scores, and gpa will speak for itself. When your kid is a senior he could probably ask the gc to mention a similar thing (edited for your situation, obviously).
  • menloparkmommenloparkmom Registered User Posts: 11,905 Senior Member
    College admissions officers take into account the rigor of the classes taken, and often re calibrate HS rankings to their own scale[ or ignore class rank entirely, since over 50% of private HS's dont "rank" their students. ] I would stop worrying about rank.

    what are his test scores?
    Have you looked at this list of colleges that offer Merit $$?
    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/financial-aid-scholarships/2006094-2017-automatic-full-tuition-full-ride-scholarships-p1.html

    scroll down to post # 3 and start researching.

    He will have to cast a WIDE net to find guaranteed merit scholarships.
  • twocollegekidstwocollegekids Registered User Posts: 85 Junior Member
    Are you saying that an A in a regular class has the same weight as an A in an honors or AP class at your school? The profile should explain that. Ask for a copy.
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 29,477 Senior Member
    In our high school honors and AP were weighted the same. It was in the profile as well. Luckily colleges look at transcripts, year after year kids who took a reasonable number of AP classes got into very selective colleges, and those who took only honors classes got into very good, but slightly less selective colleges. I came to the conclusion that we spend a lot too much time worrying about rank. Every once in a while one of the "non-AP" kids would be standing on the stage getting the award for being in the top 25. It's really no biggie.
  • VeryapparentVeryapparent Registered User Posts: 213 Junior Member
    My D goes to a high school which is a cohort for a highly gifted program. Even with 11 AP classes and mostly honors otherwise her one semester A- in AP chem barely makes her top 10%. By the time applications are due its possible she won't be in the top 10%. Lots of scholarships and merit are given to kids in the top 10%. I have addressed this with guidance counselor who has assured me colleges are familiar with stuff like this and it won't be an issue. Still it bugs me.
  • shortnukeshortnuke Registered User Posts: 211 Junior Member
    If it makes you feel any better, here in Orlando the newspaper publishes the valedictorians from all the high schools. Several name multiple valedictorians. One very expensive private school with a class size of less than 200 named 22 valedictorians a couple years ago.
  • 3puppies3puppies Registered User Posts: 999 Member
    If the school ranks, they should do it fairly, especially when it matters so much financially.

    OP, be glad your son attends a very good high school full of real achievers. Be assured that even if the school ranked more fairly, your son's GC will be in a position to explain to prospective colleges that he is taking the "most rigourous" schedule, and I would wager that several of your son's classmates with higher rank will not have that distinction. Selective colleges prefer to admit students who have challenged themselves, and done well. Since you school profile will show it doesn't weight for rank, the selective colleges will be very interested in the degree of difficulty.
  • iaparentiaparent Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    My son's well respected public school did away with reporting class rank several years ago. I didn't really think about it until we started the college process. In looking at the school stats from the class of 2016 over 25% of the class had in excess of a 4.0, it suddenly dawned on me that the school was tired of the backlash from those 3.9 students that had conflicting data; 3.9 gpa, 33 ACT, and 70% class rank. It just became easier to not provide rank and not have to explain what in some cases looks like grade inflation. If I remember correctly, over 75% of the students were a 3.0 or higher which seems counter intuitive given that means 75% were above average (B average).
  • droppeditdroppedit Registered User Posts: 671 Member
    I'm pretty ticked by the class ranking for D18. She's taken the most difficult classes, including Scientific Research, Biotech, and Directed Study. None of those are AP so they end up counting as on-level classes (4.0 vs 5.0 for AP) even though they are far more difficult/significant. The result is that kids who took the easier AP classes end up with a higher class ranking (D18 is at 12%, not the magical top 10%). We told D18 to ask her GC to add comments to her recommendation letter noting that fact.

    The class ranking game has resulted in an AP "arms race" at D18's school (large public HS). Some kids take AP classes during the summer and/or online to bump up their GPA and class rank. It's crazy.
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