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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

What is class rank?

Hi everyone, I'm getting started in the college admissions process and I've been seeing the term 'class rank' a lot. Can someone explain exactly what class rank is, and why it's important for college admissions?

7 months ago

Hello! Class rank is a measure used to compare a student's academic performance relative to their peers in the same grade level. It's typically calculated based on a student's overall GPA, which means it considers both weighted and unweighted grades. Class rank can be expressed as a percentile (e.g., top 5% of the class) or as a numerical position (e.g., 10th out of 250 students).

In the college admissions process, class rank provides an additional context for admissions officers to understand how well a student has performed academically in their high school. A high class rank indicates that the student has consistently achieved strong grades and succeeded in a competitive environment. However, it's important to note that not all high schools calculate or report class rank, and colleges will consider other academic factors like course rigor and grades in the absence of a class rank.

The importance of class rank in college admissions varies depending on the college. Some colleges use an Academic Index, which takes into account factors like class rank (if available), GPA, and test scores (if available), to determine a cutoff for considering applications. Students who meet the Academic Index cutoff are more likely to have their applications fully considered. However, many colleges and universities also use a holistic review process, which means they consider numerous factors beyond just academics, such as extracurricular involvements, essays, and letters of recommendation.

7 months ago

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