a month ago
Admissions Advice

Does Rank Matter THAT much?


My school is extremely competitive and we have a ranking system and a lot of the students tend to all have like a 4.0 GPA UnWeighted so people rise the ranks through the decimals, due to that my rank is now sort of in the middle, so if I were to apply for a college would that necessarily affect my chances or not?


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2 answers

Accepted Answer
a month ago

Some colleges consider rank others don't. If you want to see which colleges care about rank and how much they care, then google search the college you are applying to. For instance "Harvard Common Data Set". Then you click on the link with the most recent CDS like 2020-21. Open the .PDF file and go to Section C7. "Relative importance of each of the following academic and non-academic factors in your first term". You will see a matrix of Academic and Non-Academic selections in the first column and their relative importance in the subsequent columns. For Harvard, rank is "NOT CONSIDERED".

It's a pain to have to do this for the schools you are applying to but if it is of concern to you then I would recommend doing it. It will only take like 5 minutes per school and you'll know whether or not you still want to shoot your shot there and apply along with your fellow peers from your school.

What I learned is that rank means more at a large public school because in general the top 5% or 10% of students are the best ones. I'm generalizing but I think out of the top 5% at a large public school are future admits to Ivys and Elites and Top LACS, and out of the top 10% are your UCLA's, UC Berkeley, UMich, UVA, Georgetown, Tufts, Northeastern, Tulane admits.

But this is not the case for Private High Schools especially highly competitive ones like East Coast Boarding Schools. There, you are doing well even if you are in the top 45% percentile of your class because they already culled the cream of the crop in 8th grade when these kids first applied. Now the senior class is are a pool of heavy cream so to say. You have a good shot at an Ivy whether you are Number 5 or number 55. When the admit rates are 10-15% for Private schools, that gives colleges some leeway in admitting more kids from that pool to being with.

Hope this eases your anxiety about this.

a month ago

To be honest YES. Rank demonstrates that in a class of so many students, how brilliant you were. But in your case, it won't impact much if you have GPA of 3.8+ because even the average GPA at the most competitive colleges is about 3.8,3.85


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