Understanding Class Rank

<p>Good evening everyone,</p>

<p>I've heard a lot of people talking about class rank recently, and how important it is in the college admission process.</p>

<p>I would like this discussion to focus more on the very competitive high schools in which a student's ability may not necessarily be represented through his or her class rank. I, for one, feel that going to a highly competitive boarding school is both a gift and a curse. I've been given great opportunities and have been able to mold who I am as a person, but I might be hurt in the long run as opposed to going to a small school. That is, if class rank really matters as much as people say it does.</p>

<p>Andover has roughly 1,000 students. My senior class next year will be one of the largest the school has had in a while, with about 300 students. It is also one of the most competitive classes our school has ever had. I have a 5.2 out of 6 GPA (Roughly a 91-92 out of 100 average) and I might be lucky to be in the top 40% of my class. Now, that's purely speaking in terms of grades, whereas I, and I'm sure all my peers, have many other extracurriculars to speak of.</p>

<p>That said, how should I look at the importance of class rank? Does anyone else feel the same way?</p>

<p>College admission from a school like Andover is a whole different game. You will get into many schools that students ranked where you are at most schools would not.</p>

<p>Andover and it's peers send over 30% to ivies plus, but they are not the top 30% as there are tons of legacies, recruited athletes and development. They send very few to schools ranked below 30 or so. So while it may be harder to get into ivies, it is much easier to get into schools ranked 15-30.</p>

<p>What exactly do you mean by "recruited athletes and development"?</p>

<p>^ Recruited athletes are just that: recruited athletes. Developmental students are those that can give money and 'develop' the school, which, if they attend, they probably will.</p>

<p>Elite boarding schools, for all their hype, hardly advantage kids when it comes into getting into tippy-top schools. As Redroses said, the high percentage of admits to Ivies is inflated by abnormally high numbers of legacies, athletes, and developmental students. The rest of the admits will offer Ivies something else compelling, whether that is an exceptionally high rank (more impressive at Andover than your average high school) or a uniquely developed interest accompanied by high levels of accomplishment.</p>

<p>For the average, bright kid with a few leadership positions under his belt, admissions to Ivies and other tip-top schools will be very difficult. But, as Redroses pointed out, elite preps do a fantastic job with placement into slightly lower-ranked universities and LACs. Students ranked barely in the top half of their class at shoddy publics or lesser-known privates wouldn't have nearly the same luck you likely will at those schools just beyond the Ivies.</p>