Going unranked

<p>I would like to hear from people whose kids attend a school that doesn't rank or is considering going unranked.</p>


<p>1) Did you notice a difference in college admissions?
2) Did you meet with resistance from either kids/parents at the tippy-top of the class or administration?
3) General pros and cons.
4) It would be helpful to know the kind/size of school your child attends: private, public, charter, magnet, IB, etc.</p>

<p>Thanks. A group of parents is proposing this at my son's school, and I feel pretty ambivalent. In Texas, top 10% is a big deal, so I would imagine there will be resistance, but I'm wondering whether there is some kind of hybrid example, where the top 10% ranks and the rest doesn't.</p>


<p>D. attended the school that did not rank. When we visited Honors programs presentation for one of the colleges on her list which reguired certain ranking like top 2% or so, I asked them how they deal with situation when there is no ranking. They said that admission still calculated ranking based on kid's GPA and class profile that non-ranking school must provide. Since D. qualified, hy we were invited to attend the session to begin with. D. ended up in Honors program at different college that requires to be top 2% of class, which shows that all admissions (or most?) calculate rank. Top 10% would be very well known if they could determine top 2%.</p>

<p>YDS, There have been a couple of CC threads on this topic in past years. You might search for them. If I remember correctly (and I may not), the general conclusion was that there were pros and cons, but mostly specific to the individual kid. (For example in a school that reports deciles, not ranking probably helps those in the lower part of the decile, and probably hurts the Val and Sal.) </p>

<p>That said, a good student is a good student. I think an excellent college application can be prepared regardless of whether a school ranks or not.</p>

<p>Forgot to mention, D. was in private school and also received automatic scholarship from our state that goes to 1top student at every private or public school in our state as long as student goes to in-state (public or private) university. Our school did not report top student or any ranking.</p>

<p>D's school (public, about 1200 students) did not rank and hasn't for years.</p>

<p>1) No noticeable difference in college admissions. Still sends kids to HYPS, etc. every year.
2) Can't answer that one. But our state has no "10% rule" and no scholarship for #1 student or anything of that sort. It does have scholarships for those who score well on the statewide testing and are in the top 25% of the class, but specific rank is irrelevant.
3) The biggest pro is that it eliminated all jockeying for the top 10 positions. There was much less of the "If I take band, it'll hurt my rank and I'll be #3 instead of #4" type of calculation. It took a significant amount of pressure off, and in our school district, there's a lot of pressure.</p>

<p>That being said, the school does report the grade distribution in deciles.</p>

<p>Even when schools do away with ranking students numerically., some selective college applications request very specific information from the HS guidance counselors on the forms they have to fill out. I do not think it matters much whether they rank or not, the colleges have a way of finding out what they want to know. And, at my kids' HS, they didn't rank, but EVERYONE knew who was number one, two, etc. Maybe it is more a matter of semantics and helps the administration avoid those nasty battles that sometimes pop up when the top students and their parents start fighting about who has a quarter point higher GPA than the other, who took a tougher class, etc. I actually think it might be a good thing. Too many students spend their time strategizing on how to be number one instead of just taking classes they enjoy or are more appropriate for them. Of course, my kids weren't in number one territory, so parents who are in that position probably have a different point of view.</p>

<p>D attended NYC public school that did not rank. It did not hurt her as she was admitted to every school she applied to. No Vals, No Sals each kid who wanted to speak at graduation auditioned their speech before the senior class and they selected their speakers.</p>

<p>However they said that they would confidentially rank for admissions and scholarship purposes if the school absolutely required ranking.</p>

<p>Around here, the unranked vs. ranked questions could be recharacterized as Snoots vs. Strivers. The established elite private schools generally refuse to rank. Schools that are trying to crash the party rank. </p>

<p>They're both being rational. The elite private schools do a great job promoting a broad swathe of their students to top colleges. They pride themselves on personalized curricula, and refuse to get into the business of implicitly telling students the school values X over Y. I have always suspected that, when GC recommendations go out, more than one student is identified as the top student in the class (although never to the same college, of course). Adopting a ranking system would definitely hurt those in the lower halves of their quintiles, without helping those in the upper halves much if at all.</p>

<p>The "striver" schools don't have any expectation that x students are going to Harvard each year; they are desperately trying to get Harvard to pay attention to any of their students, and if ranking makes #1 and #2 look more special, great. They are also generally trying to raise the perceived quality of the education they offer, and so nudging the students to do X instead of Y seems appropriate.</p>

<p>Our very good public HS does not rank. However, the GC once mentioned that if a kid is applying to one of the service academies, the HS will send the rank directly to the service academy. (The HS does not send rank out when a selective college specifically asks for it on a form.) </p>

<p>Not ranking does not seem to have any impact on our kids' admissions to Ivies and other top schools every year. Most years we send at least one kid to each Ivy. Our HS also does "a great job promoting a broad swathe of their students to top colleges."</p>

<p>I am glad the school does not rank.</p>

<p>My school did not rank, yet sent kids to pretty good schools (not many people apply to Ivies, but those that have have been accepted in recent years). It was a small private with less than 50 kids per class, so it sort of would have been unfair to rank us. My class was EXTREMELY competitive (about 2/3rds of us graduated in NHS, the cutoff for which was a 93 out of 100 average), so it would have been rough to be ranked :)</p>

<p>Our very good public HS does not rank. Instead, they send a profile that talks about the graduates' accomplishments and placement record (Ivys, top publics, LACs all over).</p>

<p>They might mention the median GPA, which is on the high side and which would act as a de facto rank for those near it.</p>

<p>A friend's kid recently graduated from the top local private school (Lakeside), and the students were not ranked. GC included a very detailed school profile with the forms and transcripts.</p>

<p>Ranking was not heavily emphasized at D's school (only given to kids twice: in October and right before graduation), and I have a feeling that it might drop ranking at some point in the future.</p>

<p>Back in the day, my high school didn't give number grades, just letters and everyone who had straight As was a Val...we had 16 of them. I keep waiting for a big Texas HS to decide not to "play." </p>

<p>But in our district, it will never happen. From 1st grade on, they give number grades - at an age when I was stil getting Es, Ss and Us, our kids are getting 92s and 98s. Apparently this was because the *parents *asked for it. Any group of parents who insists on knowing if their 7 year old's A is a 94 or a 97 is **not **going to stand for their kid being unranked!</p>

<p>D's school did not rank, did not seem to hurt anyone. Numerous to Ivies and top LAC's.</p>

<p>DD's schools did not rank. Did not weight courses. And did not use letter grades or GPAs rather than raw averages on a 100% scale.
It was a HUGE plus. Allowed to keep wonderful atmosphere at school. Kids, who are otherwise super-competitive and many of whom were very concerned about getting into HYPS/Ivies/etc., were not competing against each other.
Admissions are definitely not affected in a negative way. I have to say, though, that most kids go to a certain group of top-tier private schools and LACs, and these schools do not have Honors Programs or class-rank-based scholarships. Also because these schools receive hundreds of applications a year from DDs school (class size is 700 or so), they know how to read their transcripts in terms of approximate class rank. The Honors Programs at two best state schools do not have class rank requirement to the best of my knowledge.</p>

<p>Our kids' school never ranked and also do not weight grades. No Vals, Sals either. Nevertheless, kids seem to make it into all the top universities (including Ivies, MIT, Berkeley, Chicago, etc.) every year. Similar to what other posters have indicated, I believe the GCs do a detailed profile of the student and provide median GPA information.</p>