Class Rank Adjustments

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Rocko, Sep 19, 2013.

  1. Rocko

    Rocko Member

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    I understand that the GPA that is sent by the Schools is unweighted and is then adjusted by the Academy so that it is on a level playing field for all candidates. This makes perfect sense to me.

    My question is regarding the class rank. Is the school required to adjust the class rank of the candidate based on an unweighted scale? The reason I ask is our school weights honors and AP classes. My DS has taken all honors/AP's and has scored all A's with just one B. He is ranked 4th out of 600 students based on his grades and strength of schedule and has a 3.90 unweighted GPA and a 4.6 weighted GPA.

    When the school sent in his transcripts they listed him as 10th in the class based on an unweighted GPA. While this seems trivial, there is another candidate applying from our school that has a 4.0 unweighted GPA but has taken very few honors or AP classes. They are around 50th in class rank based on the weighted scale with a 4.1 weighted GPA. But when it is reported as an unweighted class rank they suddenly jump above my DS and are now in the top 10 with a 4.0 GPA.

    My thought is since they are in the same district and are competing directly with each other for the slots this could possibly cost my DS a chance at an appointment.

    Then again maybe we are just over-thinking things.
     
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    To my knowledge the school is not required to do anything other than send in the transcript and do whatever they do the way they normally do it. They will not need to re-rank based on weighted or unweighted. They will not be force to re-rank period. When your DS's GPA is recalculated by admissions in whatever way they do it, your DS will end up with the higher GPA, increasing his Whole Person Score relative to the other guy. The class rank issue is more about determining how your DS did relative to all the other kids in the school, not one individual. He's in the top 10. He'll be fine with that.

    NOTE: They also consider what type of course load the student carried relative to what the school offered. Once again, your DS will come out on top. Additionally, it's not unheard of for two kids from the same high school to get appointments to the academies.
     
  3. USAF463

    USAF463 Member

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    There are a lot of variables, ACT/SAT scores, extra curricular activities, leadership roles, CFA scores, how one handles themselves at interviews, etc.. Take the ACT/SAT as many times as possible and submit updates on any new items as they come available. The Academy will see who took what courses. You are right to try and not over think the process.
     
  4. Buckeye

    Buckeye Member

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    +1 on not over thinking the process. There are several excellent posts by Flieger83 and Christcorp and others regarding all of components of the nomination and appointment process.

    I've seen several instances listed (including my DS and his HS classmate) received and accepted appointments from the same high school.

    Best Wishes!
     
  5. Rocko

    Rocko Member

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    Thanks to all for the responses. I was mainly wanting to know if his school sent in the correct information or not (They adjusted the class rank). If they should have just sent his class rank as they have it (ranked 4th)and not adjusted it that is what I want them to do. Just so it is done correctly....

    We've always told him to do his best and the rest will take care of itself. We'd love nothing more than both of them to go as they are friends. My DS is actually going to help him with his application this weekend because he has many questions and was looking for input in the application process.

    And if the Academy doesn't work out he still has Plan B in West Point, Plan C in AFROTC, Plan D in AROTC.
     
  6. MedB

    MedB Parent

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    Rocko,

    Maybe I misunderstood, but are you saying your school uses UN-weighted gpa to determine class rank???

    If that's the case than the kid taking all basic/remedial classes that gets A's would be Valedictorian over the kid that takes all AP/Honors but gets just a single B. That's crazy.

    If that's the case, then I'd be interested to know how they handle National Honor Society too.
     
  7. Rocko

    Rocko Member

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    School ranks based on Weighted...

    The school ranks based on the weighted GPA. Thus my DS is ranked 4th in his class and his friend is ranked around 50.

    However when the school reported class ranking to the Academy they changed the rankings based on an Unweighted scale. Thus his ranking shows up as 10th and his friend shows up with a better class ranking than my DS.

    If the Academy wants the schools to send in rankings based on the unweighted GPA then they did the correct thing.
     
  8. kdc246

    kdc246 Member

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    On the form that goes to the counselor, there is a block that ask if the student takes AP or Honors classes. They also ask for a transcript and senior year class schedule. The proof will show where your DS truly stands in comparison to his peer.
     
  9. EagleDriver

    EagleDriver Member

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    "My thought is since they are in the same district and are competing directly with each other for the slots this could possibly cost my DS a chance at an appointment"

    Just based on class rankings WON'T happen! Again remember...USAFA looks at the WHOLE person...ie...achievements besides just academics...extra curricular activties....ie sports, student counsel...whatnot...being #4 out of 600 vs #10 or even 20 out of 600 is NOT going to make a sliight dent...if the other kid is an Eagle Scout, Class President, Varsity Athlete Letterman...football, track, wrestling, swimming, etc...NOT CURLING :smile: and has just as good of an ACT or SAT scores..THEN he may beat out your DS... My son was an Eagle Scout, Class President-3 yrs, National Honor Society -4 yrs, 3 yr Football Letterman and Captain...ranked only 77 out of 498...ACT mean was 31. We had three other fellow applicants that ranked in the top ten in his class...but was not near the other overall curricular activities under their belt...
     
  10. Rocko

    Rocko Member

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    No offense but how do you know based on this it won't happen? They are very very close and it could come down to the little things. Not only that but he is not just competing against this one person.

    I've visited this site for a few months taking advantage of the wealth of information that is here and it is truly appreciated. One theme that I have read over and over is how EVERY little bit counts. It has been stated over and over how they should not be happy with a 35 ACT. That as long as they have room for improvement that they should continue to work on just that.

    My son is a 4 year Varsity wrestler who is a state qualifier and two year captain, 4 year baseball player, 2 years of football, NHS member, Math Honor Society Treasurer, 4 year Mathlete member and state qualifier, has MANY volunteer hours etc. He has taken the ACT test 5 times and will be taking it again tomorrow to try to squeeze out another point. He knows how important all these things are and continues to work on ALL of them.

    I have a question regarding whether our school made a mistake by changing my son's class ranking and now I'm told that it is so minor why would I be concerned. Well, I'm concerned for 2 reasons. Number one, if he earned it but the school made a mistake then it should be corrected. And number two, from what I've read EVERY point counts.

    So again, I have one question. Are the schools supposed to change the class ranking (Not GPA) based on an unweighted GPA or should they report it exactly as they currently calculate it?

    So far, nobody has answered this one question and I'm beginning to believe nobody knows the answer.
     
  11. EagleDriver

    EagleDriver Member

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    High School Class Rank

    Generally, candidates must rank in the top 40 percent of their high school class. However, the average of recent entering classes is the top three percent. Adjustments are made to the PAR for students attending unusually competitive schools with a rigorous college prep curriculum and/or where honors and Advanced Placement courses are NOT weighted in the school’s calculation of class rank and/or GPA.

    This is from the USAFA website...so depending on the high school...either way...it will be adjusted accordingly...how USAFA determines how "unusually competitive schools" are is probably from past track record of the school history etc... again...class ranking of #10 vs 5/6/7/8/9/ is really of little significance...your son will not be disadvantaged in such a way "every little things counts" in that degree. :thumb:
     
  12. Rocko

    Rocko Member

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    That answers the question

    Based on this post it appears to me that the schools should NOT have changed the class ranking.

    According to that statement the Academy will adjust the class ranking based on the school's difficulty rating and whether they offered Honors/AP classes. The way it stands, the school adjusted it and now the Academy will also adjust.
     
  13. Rocko

    Rocko Member

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    I just re-read this post and I stand corrected. You answered my question exactly. I'm not sure how I missed it.... I guess reading is a learned skill! :shake:

    Thanks very much for this clarification.
     
  14. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Rocko,

    Have you ordered a sealed transcript? A sealed is different than just requesting to see his transcript. I hope this can help you understand the process even more.

    In that sealed transcript there is a school profile.
    ~~~~ 7 or 10 pt scale...an A is 93 or a 90?
    ~~~~ How many APs are offered and the requirements for an AP course, I.E must complete honors Chem before they can take AP Chem.
    ~~~~ Weight for an Honors, and APs/ 4.0 and 4.5, 4.5 and 5.0
    ~~~~ Class rank, unweighted or weighted.

    The admissions board will re-work his school's transcript to meet the AFA standards.

    I.E. Your DS may see his cgpa rise or lower by AFA terms depending on that scale, and the weights. It happens every yr that a child sees it change. Our DS's portal cgpa went up by 0.23, because the school used a 7 pt scale, and 4.5 for AP only, honors and standards had a 4.0 weight.

    The board will also look to see the rigor and if your DS is taking the hardest classes that he can possibly take. They will place that into the equation too. Now if the friend is taking an easier rigor than his, it will be reflected in his profile.
    ~~~~ I.E. They are not going to hold it against him if he only took 7 APs when the school offers only 7 compared to a kid that took 10 at another school. It is his rigor and the school's requirements they look at.

    The GC also has an input into the equation discussing the rank.

    Thus, since both kids are attending the exact same school, the AFA will know directly from the GC that your DS has taken a higher rigor.

    Not only do they discuss that, but also discuss the school profile. How many go Ivy, 4 yr Private, 4 yr Public, 2 yr CC, Tech schools, or straight into the work force. If he is top 10% and 20% go Ivy he is in strong standing. If he 10% and 0% go Ivy, than it becomes a little more nerve wracking since even the Cong. slate will be comprised of multiple schools, not just yours.

    I don't think anyone was trying to offend, they were being honest that there is so much more that goes into the equation, even from the PAR side. There are a lot of voices the AFA listens to, which include everything from teachers to GCs to ALOs.
    ~~~ Again, since the two are at the same school, chances are they have the same teacher recs. If they are different, i.e your DS has an AP teacher, and they have an Std. teacher it will be seen here too.

    People were just trying to say that every point matters, but they come from different aspects. I.E., they both have the same ALO. That rec. matters too. ALO's typically have spent yrs in the AF and know how to state where they rank out, even if they both get MAX points. I.E. My number 1 choice, 1 of my top choices, I support this candidate.

    They are both fighting off the same nom slate, but do you know yet if the MOC submits Principal, Prin. with Alt. Ranked or competitive? If they do Prin. than the WCS does not matter, nor how he ranks in his HS. What matters is he gets the Prin and is 3Q.

    Finally, remember to have him work on his plan B, AFROTC scholarship. Understand that AFROTC scholarship is national, not geo-centric. Intended majors matter, and SATs are best sitting. CC aka Mike can tell you from his experience that there were kids in his area that got an appointment, but no scholarship, while in the same school there were kids that got no scholarship, but Type 1 scholarship. AFA and AFROTC boards do not talk. They do not know if the candidate is applying only for an AFROTC scholarship or for both.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2013
  15. Rocko

    Rocko Member

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    I was not offended by any responses and apologize if my posts came off that way. I appreciate any and all responses.

    I knew that his GPA could be changed by the Academy (It remained the same) but was not expecting his High School to change his class ranking (They told me they changed it because the Academy asked for an Unweighted GPA).

    I know there are MANY factors involved in the WCS and it is more than I care to try to figure out. What I did want to do was ensure the information provided by the school was Accurate.

    My DS is already done with his AFROTC application and is an interview away (Monday) from completing his AROTC application. He will have all his college applications done prior to Oct. 15th to meet all the Early Application deadlines. So plan B is pretty much set.

    As for the Nom. Slate I honestly have no clue about that. Everything you mentioned there is Greek to me.

    Thanks for taking the time to respond. It was appreciated.
     
  16. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Welcome to the next phase of the process.

    How the slate is submitted matters for charging appointments.

    Principal, basically tells the SA YOU MUST offer the appointment to that person if they are 3Q, Competitive means that the SA can use the WCS method, the MOC leaves it up to them to decide what candidate will be charged.

    If your child is deemed competitive and does not win the nom, than it will go back to the WCS for the National List.
     

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