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Class Rank Reporting and Decile Reporting to colleges

kleibokleibo Posts: 1,306Registered User Senior Member
edited March 2010 in Parents Forum
I’m trying to get a better feel for the ranking statistics from the USNWR rankings and the ranking question as a whole. Currently my sons school does not rank but does send in the decile ranking. His school is a small magnet high school and graduates about 45 – 50 kids a year, making only about the top 4 -5 students in the top decile. To me that can be very deceiving as this is a Science and Math High School in New Jersey with a very rigorous schedule and the top say 15 kids could be separately by fractions of a point.

My opinion is leaning towards eliminating the decile reporting as well as it might negatively influence adcoms. In my sons high school, a kid that may end up in the 4th or 5th or even lower decile could easily be in the top 10% in the local Public.

And as I was looking at the common data set stats, I get even more confused. I would think that HYPSM were schools that a lot of the same kids would be applying to but the stats (2008-2009) say:

Percent of total first-time, first-year (freshmen) students who submitted high school class
Rank:

Harvard: 84%
Yale: 40%
Stanford: 51% (2009-2010)
MIT: 51%
Princeton: 30%

So I don’t get it – can someone help me out here. Explanations / Opinions?

But my bottom line question is: For a small, rigorous high school, is it advantageous not to submit class rank or decile?
Post edited by kleibo on

Replies to: Class Rank Reporting and Decile Reporting to colleges

  • siserunesiserune Posts: 1,625Registered User Senior Member
    The percentages from CDS are of matriculants who submitted rank, not applicants. If Harvard has 2-3 times as many students who submitted class rank, it either places far more weight on rank (or availability of rank) as a selector, or it uses a different definition of what it means for an applicant to have provided class rank. Its applicant demographics can't be all that different from the others on the list, especially Yale and Princeton, certainly not so different as to fully account for a disparity as large as 84 percent compared to 30.
  • ConsolationConsolation Posts: 14,813Registered User Senior Member
    I would agree with siserune's reasoning.

    Anecdotally, our HS does not weight grades or officially rank, but does declare a val and a sal. Only vals and sals have been accepted at Harvard. So there is reason to think that they would have been considered "ranked"--and that it mattered.
  • ctParent2006ctParent2006 Posts: 376Registered User Member
    Many schools calculate a rank using what data High Schools provide, even those who say they don't rank often provide a historgram showing the distribution of grades. I have never understood if those calcluated ranks are considered in these statistics but suspect they are used in whatever way makes the college look best.

    Personally I do think rank statistics do tell you quite a bit about the intensity level of the students who choose to attend a school. More top 10% students or higher I think means a more academically intense atmosphere is possible at a school. Rank does not meet "smarts" but it does show how hard the applicants worked in HS over the entire range of subjects.
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