So if I have a UW 3.7 and a W 4.45, and am in the top 5% of my class, would a fellow competing applicant have an edge over me of having say a UW 3.9 and a W 4.6 in the top 10% of their class? I am assuming so just because there is not a huge difference between 5-10%, but I would appreciate others’ thoughts. So I guess I am really asking do colleges prefer the raw, higher GPA’s, or appreciate a higher class ranking?
Google the Common Data Set for some representative colleges and look at section C7. Your question touches on three attributes - class rank, GPA, and class rigor. Each will weight them somewhat differently. Just one example: for the Texas public school system the 5% ranking is much more important.