Does low class-rank kill my chances?

<p>My "reach" schools consist of:
-Rice
-U.Penn
-Columbia</p>

<p>I currently attend Grapevine High School, while it is a public school, the competition here is nothing to scoff at. My current class rank is approx. 55/501... by the mid-year I will probably be teetering around the 10% mark. </p>

<p>I view this as my greatest weakness when applying to such high-standard schools, I lack any great "hooks" that can adequately make up for this... I'm not a URM, I haven't overcome any huge difficulty (my greatest would be living with seperated parents... who are still waging war with one another). I would view my "high-points" as being Captain of the debate team (we have some national recognition), caring for my dad's business while he was sick and scoring a 1550 on the SATI. I won't bother covering the other details because they all aren't anything special (mediocre volunteer hours, no other significant leadership roles, etc).</p>

<p>EDIT: Just one little tidbit, nothing too special, but I will have completed 13 AP courses by the end of Senior year... so far I've taken 5 and scored 4/5's on all of them.</p>

<p>I'm worried that without some amazing attribute, my class rank gives my a ghost's chance of being accepted into schools of such caliber.</p>

<p>I think you should apply, but slim chance for COlumbia. Might have a chance at U penn, and think you will most likely get in to Rice. Awesome SAT score:). All this depends on your SAT ii scores though, as well. COuld make a difference.</p>

<p>Sogul,
You are correct in assessing that your class rank / GPA aren't going to help you great deal at schools that reject 9 out of 10 candidates, or admit children of alumni at a much higher rate than others. Columbia and UPenn are reaches - that's fine, you sound like you might be a good writer (that will help) - you should apply!</p>

<p>Move on the rest of your list. Remember that the competitiveness of a school and its academic calibar are not necessarilly the same thing. Matches for you will be schools where your SATs are well into the top quartile - and the school admits a reasonable number of kids below top 10% - and the school admits a reasonable % of its applicants - I would say somewhere around 35-45%.</p>

<p>Rice is tougher in-state than out of state - that is going to be more of a reachy-match.</p>

<p>Other schools that would be less of a crapshoot for you - Brandeis, Case, U of Rochester. U of Chicago will depand on your essay.</p>

<p>What are the other schools on your list?</p>

<p>your class rank isn't bad. It all depends on your gpa which you didn't state.</p>