Class Rank in College Admissions

Rank in Admissions, Class Rank, Universities and Class Rank

There is a great piece in today’s “The Daily Pennsylvanian” about class rank in highly selective college admissions that we figured we’d share with our readers.

Many applicants to highly selective colleges get bogged down in worrying about their rank within their high school’s graduating class. Well, there’s an interesting article in “The Daily Pennsylvanian,” the newspaper of the University of Pennsylvania, by Caroline Simon that we figured we’d discuss. In the piece entitled “Class rank is low on list of college admissions factors,” the title says a whole lot, wouldn’t you say? And it sure is true. Class rank is certainly not one of the most important factors in highly selective college admissions…and it hasn’t been for years. The article quotes David Hawkins, the director of public policy and research at the National Association for College Admissions Counseling, an organization that our Founder, Bev Taylor, is a member of.

As quoted by “The Daily Pennsylvanian,” David Hawkins says, “We’ve noticed a pretty precipitous decline in the level of importance that colleges attribute to class rank.” And the always tell-it-like-it-is dean of admissions at Penn, Eric Furda, confirmed NACAC’s conclusion — that class rank is not an essential factor in the admissions process at the University of Pennsylvania. That says a whole lot. As the article quotes Eric, “‘From a multidecade perspective, class rank has become less prevalent in secondary schools,’ he said, adding that only about 30 percent of Penn’s applicant pool typically attends a school that ranks its students. ‘Class rank has become less prevalent in our pools, and therefore, less relevant,’ Furda said.” Well said indeed.

Many high schools across America and around the world choose not to rank their students, especially in today’s age in which “everybody’s a winner!” And rank is relative anyway. It all depends on the competitiveness of a high school. Ranking first at a non-competitive high school may not be as good as ranking eighth at one of the most competitive high schools in America. Hi applicants from Bronx Science!

Have a question about class rank? Let us know your questions by posting a Comment below. We look forward to hearing from you.


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1 Comment

  • Jon says:

    If class rank isn’t used then how are grades used to create the 80 points for the academic index? Those used to be the class rank score….

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