Don’t Bank on Class Rank

BV schools choose to eliminate class rank

Don't Bank on Class Rank

Charlotte Rooney, Opinion Editor

The Blue Valley district has officially gotten rid of class rank. While for some there may be a collective sigh of relief, those with the highest GPAs and the highest spots have lost something potentially vital to their college applications. Students can still provide their class rank to their college of choice if they think it will help their application process, despite the change.

According to the Washington Post, “school officials said they want students to focus more on their own accomplishments without worrying so much where they fall in the pecking order.”

At BV, even students with all As, honor and AP classes, it’s likely that student falls somewhere in the middle of their class, which isn’t a great indicator of how hard that student worked in terms of class rank.

Colleges say that making class rank void makes the process more difficult for them. A lot of students could send in applications with similar merits and GPA, but don’t provide class rank because their school doesn’t publically provide it, which makes it hard to decide who would really do better at that particular school.

Lee Coffin, Dean of Undergraduate Admissions at Tufts University said that without class rank, colleges would have to focus more on test scores from the ACT and SAT to see how well they stand against students competing for the same spot.

Jim Bock, Vice President and Dean of Admissions at Swarthmore College said that without class rank, it does force admissions officers to take a closer look at applications that don’t provide a class rank.

“Maybe that’s a good thing,” Bock said.

David Hawkins, the executive director of content and policy at the National Association of College Admissions Counselors, said that the most important reason class rank is on decline is because “it really isn’t a great measure of student achievement.”

In schools like BV, students can become obsessed with taking the hardest classes and becoming what the school calls a success. And even students who have all As but didn’t take as many AP classes as their peers could fall in the ranking despite working hard their entire high school career.

“[Students are] obsessed with only taking the courses that will put them closer to the top of the class,” Hawkins said.

BV getting rid of class rank will allow students to take classes they like, without having to focus on how it will boost their rank, as well as focusing on just doing well and not worrying about how they stand when compared to their classmates.