What would count more.....

<p>........(if you had to choose) higher SAT's or Class Rank (in the top 3) in college admissions?</p>

<p>I believe class rank, gpa and taking the hardest level of classes offered are the most important. After those 3, SAT or ACT scores are factored in.</p>

<p>I like to divide the criteria into objective and subjective. Among the statistical trifecta -- scores, grades and rank -- it's difficult to say which carries the most strength as "it depends" kicks in heavily here. Quite often a weakness in one area can be counteracted by a strength in another, but schools mostly like to see consistency. For example a 2400 SAT with a low GPA and rank sounds alarms as would a high rank and low SAT. If I had to choose one, I'd go with GPA in relationship to strength of curriculum.</p>

<p>The subjective criteria -- recommendations, essays, ECs, interviews -- can also counterbalance the statistics. I tend to think this tendency is more prevalent at smaller, private colleges where more time can be devoted to evaluating each application. </p>

<p>Special talent and diversity status can trump all.</p>

<p>Hard to say, I guess it depends upon how low a GPA/class rank and how high an SAT is. Perhaps we need to put a finer point on it. Which would you rather have?</p>

<p>Top 25% of class, high SAT, 2250</p>


<p>Top 5% of class, good SAT, 1950</p>

<p>Obviously this still does not provide enough information but for me I would prefer the high SAT. My rationale is the following:</p>

<li><p>The Academic Index (AI) uses 2 SAT components, SAT I and SAT IIs and the GPA/class rank only one component so the SATs make up 2/3 of the overall number. (Note, they use converted ACT numbers for the SAT I component as an alternative).</p></li>
<li><p>GPA/class rank can be subjective. It is hard to normalize from school to school or even within a school. For example, one student with a 4.25 is more science oriented and another student who is more art oriented has a 4.26. Which is a better student at that school? They both have had a different set of teachers who have their own standards for grading. However, the student with the 4.26 has a higher class rank.</p></li>
<li><p>Of the statistics of the number of val/sal rejected from very competitive schools vs the number of 1600 scorers I believe that there is a higher number of val/sals rejected, though I do not have the numbers to back this perception up.</p></li>
<li><p>I believe the most competitive schools try to normalize the GPAs of students across schools by using the SAT IIs as a benchmark. For example, student A is an excellent spanish student at his school and has a 98 average and scores 550 on his Spanish SAT II, student B has an 84 average in spanish in this school and scores 700 on the Spanish SAT II, I believe that there is a preference for student B if all other factors are equal.</p></li>