Unweighted Rank Problemo

<p>My high school uses only unweighted GPAs, so my rank does not reflect my strength of schedule. I have taken the most difficult schedule possible, so my rank has suffered. I am inside the top 15%, but just outside the top 10% because of the use of unweighted GPA in ranking. So, my question is, do colleges "count" unweighted ranks? Are they included in the stats for entering students along with weighted ranks? I know for many top-25 colleges that being in the top 10% is crucial, and most schools report weighted rank. So, will my unweighted rank hinder my chances of getting into a top-25 school? Thanks in advance for responses!</p>

<p>Many schools use UW GPA for ranking. Top 25 schools generally use a more holistic set of evaluation criteria. They will evaluate your grades in the context of the class rigor.</p>

<p>There are many issues--and this is one of them--for which you can't really say, "Colleges do this." Or, if you do say that, you're just blowing smoke.</p>

<p>I can say this with confidence. When you apply to college, you will have to get your guidance counselor (sometimes it's another person in the school, but usually it's a guidance counselor) to complete a Secondary School Report. It's part of the Common Application. One question on the Secondary School Report asks the counselor to rate the rigor of your course schedule compared to other students in your school. If you've taken a serious hit in class rank because you took more demanding classes than the students ranked above you, that's how colleges can learn about it. There is also room on the Report for a narrative written by your guidance counselor. If you ask, he or she might say explicitly in this report that many of the students ranked above you have taken significantly less demanding course loads. The school will then send this Report to colleges, together with your transcript and a document called a school profile, which will give them more information about your school, its curriculum, its student population and so on. So a college or university that wants a clear picture of how you stack up against the rest of your high school class can obviously have one.</p>

<p>What will colleges do with all that information? Some will really read it carefully, to try to get the best picture of who you are, and whether you'd be a good match for them. To stereotype broadly, colleges that do this tend to be smaller--which often means private, and often includes some of the country's really famous institutions. Other colleges will do little more than crunch numbers to give you a "yes" or "no." To stereotype, again, colleges that do this tend to be huge--which often means large publics. But if you want the kind of close look I described in the first example, the key word that you're looking for is, as Erin's Dad said, "holistic admissions."</p>

<p>Thanks for the input! I am a senior who's already applied to Vanderbilt, UVA, and the like, so I was just trying to gauge how much my class rank being in the top 15 percent instead of the magic top 10% will hurt my application. It seems that these schools will take that in context of my courses, so life is good!</p>