I was told that my weighted class rank for my current senior year is 105 out of 626 students which puts me in the top 16% of the school. I've applied to competitive schools and would like to know if being in the top 16% is decent or not!
Top 16% is great for non-T50 colleges, but average/below average for T50s. Your chances of getting in with a 105/626 class rank really depend on where you've applied. Competitive is a really subjective term. These days, even state schools have become competitive.
I think it depends on the competitive schools in question, since some look at class rank, some don't use it as much, and each school would have a different opinion on what constitute a 'good' class rank.
Obviously being in the top 16% is a big achievement, but the question is, do most other applicants to that school also fit into the top 16% or even higher? Some sites, like blog.prepscholar.com, suggest that those aiming for an Ivy or other top tier school should aim to be in the top 5-10% of their class- but again, your class rank isn't the only thing considered and you can still get into these schools if you have other parts of your application that meet the 'Ivy standard' such as the actual GPA, test scores, et cetera.
In my opinion, your class rank will not necessarily be looked at with as much weight as other, more standardised forms of comparing students. Since applicants would be coming from very different school systems, sizes, and environments, AOs are probably more likely to look at more 'standardised' data that isn't as subjective and context-specific. That means you shouldn't get too worried even if your class rank is a bit lower than the average applicant (and either way, you can't really change your class rank now, so no use stressing over it).
At the end of the day, your class rank isn't likely to be the factor that disadvantages you- if its between you and another applicant, they probably won't look at who has the higher class rank to make their decision! Holistic admissions is stressed at competitive universities for a reason- they care a lot more about what you're doing in class and outside of it than your class rank.
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