class rank vs. gpa

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by hopeful dad 21, May 31, 2016.

  1. hopeful dad 21

    hopeful dad 21 New Member

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    Hello,
    longtime lurker, first time posting

    My son is applying to USNA for class of '21, and I'm trying to help him put his best foot forward. I've read in a few places that class rank is more important than GPA "by far". Is that the case? and if so, how come?

    Seems like class rank could be just as misleading as GPA in different circumstances (strength of curriculum etc. for gpa, and overall strength of graduating class for class rank).

    I would assume that USNA looks at thinks like % of graduates who go on to four year college, etc.

    Is a candidate who is just outside the top 20% (somewhere between 20-25) in class rank going to have a hard time getting to "academically competitive"? Credentials outside of rank are pretty solid: 1420 SAT (taking again), 4.2 weighted gpa, BC Calc, AP Chem/English and others, 8 varsity letters, all star and captain in two varsity sports, NHS, Student Leadership, strong extra curriculars with leadership roles, etc.
    Based on all the "what are my chances" threads, it seems he's in the ballpark at least, except for class rank, can that be overcome?
     
  2. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    The school profile is important and comes into play here. If his school sends a dozen kids to Ivies that can help. So yes class rank can be overcome, especially if his school has a very strong school profile.
     
  3. GoNavyPro

    GoNavyPro Member

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    As hoops said, it's all about what school and background you came from that determines what holds weight. I'm going into my 1/C year at the academy and both of my roommates and myself have completely different backgrounds.
    Roommate 1: Was homeschooled so they valued standardized tests and AP test (since that's really the only thing that they can judge).
    Roommate 2: Went to a large high school in Texas, with a graduating class of over a 1,000 in which he was ranked ~350, though he had good GPA (3.89 on 4.00 scale) and decent SAT/ACT scores (not sure exactly what). But his school is one of the best public schools in the nation (or so I'm told).
    Myself: Grew up on farm, graduated 1st with class size of 7 people, though the academy I'm guess still put most of the weight into my ACT scores, which superscored averaged to 34 (I didn't like the SAT :biggrin: ). Also I was the first one to go to a college out of state from my school in 15 some years too.

    Bottom line, the academy understands that not everyone is going to be raised/schooled with the same opportunities, so it's hard to put a weight that's a "one size fits all" rubric. They're just looking for the evidence that the candidate has was it takes academically to succeed at the academy and is competitive with everyone else applying. Hope this helps!
     
  4. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Just a dad

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    Gosh, @GoNavyPro - This answer is so good, it ought to be made into a sticky note!
     
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  5. Davy Read

    Davy Read Member

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    my school doesn't rank; they won't specify where anyone is except the valedictorian and salutatorian and the top 20 is just a list of names no particular order, but I think class rank is definitely misleading as well. In order to promote fine arts, my school made all fine arts count as honors, while athletes like myself were required to take weightlifting which actually hurt you gpa if you were above a 4.6. I can tell you though I was academically qualified this past year even without a class rank, however, I did not receive an appointment and I'm reapplying for 2021. My GPA was about 3.6/4.8 depending on which scale and I was about a 1570/1600 on the Sat based on conversion calculators from the ACT. I definitely think he will be qualified, but appointments are tricky. Best of Luck.
     
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  6. Sydney C.

    Sydney C. Member

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    [QUOTE="hopeful dad 21, post: 493143, member: 30162

    My son is applying to USNA for class of '21, and I'm trying to help him put his best foot forward. I've read in a few places that class rank is more important than GPA "by far". Is that the case? and if so, how come?[/QUOTE]

    First and foremost, because GPA's are all over the board nationally e.g. one school has an A as 91 and and another as 90, etc. Some schools don't even have GPA's any longer. As noted above, school profile is significant and class rank trumps GPA's in general but with the profile in play.

    There will always be exceptions to the general understanding of how admissions determines who an "academically qualified" candidate is and no one can say with any authority that they are qualified in that arena because the academy doesn't let them know that in spite of what one thinks. There is an enormous amount of time and energy trying to figure out what they're thinking when that effort might be better used in positioning oneself as the best possible candidate....get the best GPA you can with the courses they've outlined, take the AP classes in those STEM courses, this will all result in an elevated class rank by extension, etc, Get those test scores up...just because one gets in with a 29 dsoen't mean you will or he/she was only in the top 25% of their class don't mean you will either. In the end, you can't scam the system or try to compare one with another. It simply does not work.

    You do the very best you possibly can, forget about how others dd it..as difficult as that is....and if you can look at yourself in the mirror knowing that you did...then you will have accomplished what you set out to do regardless of the outcome.
     
  7. hopeful dad 21

    hopeful dad 21 New Member

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    thanks for all the feedback,

    i agree that it's not useful to dwell on it, nor spend time worrying about it rather than spending that time on optimizing the things that are controllable - grades, test scores, etc

    it is interesting though, that such weight is placed in rank. in most, but definitely not all, cases it would seem to be a good indicator of achievement vs. peers in the same school, but not of the candidate vs. the pool of other candidates. so many variable comparing one school to another, and also variations between different years in the same school. lots of very competitive schools don't use rank at all, or de-emphasis it for those reasons.
     
  8. Sydney C.

    Sydney C. Member

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    Try this as it may help to partially answer your question: Predictors of Plebe Summer Attrition at USNA by Michael Hollenbach in June 2003.

    In his paper he describes the USNA admissions board evaluation process using a metric know as the Whole Person Multiple (WPM). This "score" is calculated based on a candidate's application information. It is designed to be a predictor for successful completion of freshman year at USNA. Qualifying candidate multiples fall between the ranges of 58,000 to greater than 80,000. The paper set forth the components of the WPM and their weighting:

    Highest SAT verbal score - 15 %
    Highest SAT math score - 31 %
    High School Class rank - 21 %
    Teacher Recommendation - 8 %
    X-curr. activities/athletics - 10%
    strong interest inventory technical interest score - 12 %
    strong interest inventory career interest score - 3

    The study is dated, from 2003. As you can see class rank is important. USMA posts more information on their admitted class profile, and not USMA but stats should be very similar. 70% was in the top fifth of the class and 20% was in the 2nd fifth. USMA profile is herehttp://www.usma.edu/admissions/sitepages/class profiles.aspx
     
  9. distancerunner34

    distancerunner34 Member

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    Hello all, anyone know what kind of scores the academy is looking for in the new SAT? I know it has to be high but I just want something to shoot for. Thanks
     
  10. ktnatalk

    ktnatalk Sailor. Shipmate. Parent.

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    What is the max? Hate to borrow someone else's slogan, but haven't you heard of "Aim high, Fly high"?
     
  11. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    1200 is normally the entrance to the party, however, as ktnatalk said, I wouldn't settle for the minimum...shoot for the stars.
     
  12. distancerunner34

    distancerunner34 Member

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    I know but what would they see as a good score on the new SAT. On my first I got a 1250 (650 M, 600R) and am waiting on the score from my second.
     
  13. usnabgo08

    usnabgo08 USNA 2008/BGO

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    No one here has a crystal ball. Just read many of the past threads...some candidates scored in the 1400 and 1500's and did not receive appointments. Instead of worrying about what looks "good," worry about the best you can do on all aspects of the application. 1200, in most cases, is the ENTERING argument.
     

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