I'm not here to complain about class rank, I've just always been unsure about this factor in admissions. I'm in a magnet program at a public high school with a class of about 130. It's a competitive program but basically the top half of the class has the exact same course rigor just based on how the program is designed. People get credits from online classes and certain middle schools that make their GPAs slightly higher. In some cases, this makes a big difference in rank even though the GPAs are almost the same.
Example: I have a 3.96uw/4.87w GPA and am ranked 11/131. I know someone with a 4.0uw GPA who is ranked in the 30s because she took unweighted online classes (personal interests).
So, in admissions for a highly selective college (Ivy-level), is class rank always considered heavily? Judging on grades/rank alone, would the valedictorian with a 4.0uw still be considered significantly better than the top 25% student with a 4.0uw who took more extra courses, when both had the same standard course rigor?