Class Rank

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by eagleone, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. eagleone

    eagleone Member

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    Does the USAFA recalculate class rank based on a weighted GPA? My DS high school calculates class rank based on unweighted GPAs (which I never thought was very fair - a student could take basket weaving type classes and have a higher class rank). Looking at his applicant status page, the USAFA admissions has his GPA and class rank exactly as it appears on his transcript without any weighting. During his junior year he took a challenging schedule - AP Calculus, AP Physics, AP Econ, AP English, 3rd year French, etc., and received Bs in those classes. Prior to his junior year, he did well in mainly honors classes. My DS took the most difficult classes his high school offers, did well, but appears to have received no credit for it in the class ranking process at the USAFA - at least per the applicant status page.

    Is this the way it works? Does anyone else have any experience with this?
     
  2. Packer

    Packer Member

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    My son is in the same situation. We are told they take the degree of difficulty of your curriculum into account and recalculate gpa, etc. We have never seen a recalculated gpa or class rank so I don't know if they reveal it or not.
     
  3. eagleone

    eagleone Member

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    Confusion

    I have heard some applicants have ad their GPAs and class rank recalculated and posted on the status page. If the applicant status page is the same as it is on the high school transcript, does that mean USAFA made no adjustments to the GPA and class ranking?
     
  4. Packer

    Packer Member

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    Don't know.

    Did your DS's Counselor note that gpa and class rank are unweighted?
     
  5. eagleone

    eagleone Member

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    Yes, it was noted that the GPA and class rank were unweighted. The school profile was also provided where that information is emphasized.
     
  6. Dad

    Dad Member

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    AFA looks at the school profile, which includes AP/IB classes available and average ACT/SAT scores, and will recalculate class rank/GPA. Last year it took a few weeks for DS's GPA to change, class rank did not. I am not aware of the method of changing the GPA, but some candidates' GPA go up and some go down. Be patient for a while and then call your AFA counselor if you are still concerned.
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    If the AFA readjusts your gpa it will show up on your portal.

    They won't change your class rank because they don't know the stats for all of the other students, i.e. their curriculum.

    The school profile is something you won't see, and the only way to get a ball park feeling about your school profile is to talk to your GC.

    The school profile includes the % of students that go Ivy, Private, Public, 2 yr, Trade and none of the above.

    Higher the amount that go Ivy and 4 yr will impact you in a positive manner.

    I.E. you can be top 10% at your HS, but if top 5% go 4 yr IS Public, it will be seen differently than if top 25% go Ivy.

    Your GC will be required to submit the school profile.

    Finally, that profile will also include:
    1. Scale ...7 point or 10 for an A
    2. Weight...for Honors, AP, Jump Start
    3. Amount of advance classes offered.
    ~~~ Take 1 and 16 are offered....will hurt you.
    4. How many take advance classes
    ~~~ Some schools anybody and everybody can take APs without pre-reqs. Some schools students can't take APs until they are at least a jr because of pre-reqs.

    They want a WHOLE PICTURE for your school prior to readjusting your gpa.

    Xposted with DAD

    OBTW, our DS's went up, it actually went to the gpa that college board had on the bottom of his hard copy SAT report.

    As Dad said it can take time.
     
  8. Romad

    Romad Member

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    My son's GPA has remained the same since it showed up on his status page 2 months ago. I believe (as the poster above noted) that the Academy has their internal formula they use to normalize the GPA of all applicants to achieve a "level playing field". It's based on the UNWEIGHTED GPA I am told since different schools weight differently, it would introduce an uncontrolled element into the mix if used.

    Best
     
  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Our DS's uwgpa actually went up. WGPA is where it becomes funky.

    Example:

    For our eldest's school AP was 5.0 on a 7 pt scale, Honors was 4.5.
    2nd child's school in an another state weighted AP as 4.5 on a 10 pt scale, and Honors carried no weight compared to std.

    The other factor was:
    DS's school saw Jump Start as an honors class even though they attended a CC for the class, the weight of the grade was lower than taking an AP.
    2nd Child's school; they saw Jump Start as AP classes.

    Just with our two children that attended HS in 2 different states you can easily see why the AFA may readjust the gpa, and require the HS GC to input on how their system works.
     
  10. eagleone

    eagleone Member

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  11. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

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    This is exactly why USAFA Admissions uses are wide variety of metrics to evaluate candidates. No one gets an appointment based solely on their class rank. The whole person is evaluated using ACT/SAT scores, GPA, how challenging their classes are, EC, awards, leadership, and so on.

    Trust is required. Unfortunately if it is your intent to throughly understand the scoring system used to evaluate candidates so you can game the system, it is not going to happen. Follow the directions, do your best, and wait is the only strategy that will work. I get that this may be the first time for some parents that they can't really work the system but it is what it is.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2011
  12. eagleone

    eagleone Member

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    Sounds like know from experience.
     
  13. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    If any of you have ever had to conduct job interviews, you'll understand why much of this can't be transparent. It has to be subjective. I recently did some job interviews, and I had 3 individuals applying for a technical job. One had a HS diploma, but 25 years working in the field. Another had a Bachelor's Degree, but it wasn't in anything close to what I was highering for. The 3rd had an associates degree in the field, only had 6 years experience, but it was in the military which comes with it's own set of positive attributes.

    So; how do I grade them? Who do I choose. That's where the "WHOLE" person concept comes into play. Are they articulate; do they communicate well in writing; are their goals and ambitions in line with our mission; if the individual could only apply for one job, would this be the one, or is this job an option? Basically, are they looking for just a job, or for a CAREER.

    The academy isn't much different. Is that 4.6 weighted gpa better or worse than the 4.0 unweighted gpa. Well; that depends on the school. A teacher can "TEACH THE TEST" for any class. Schools do that all the time. It's not a good thing, and many students don't do well later on; but it's done. So 2 schools teaching AP History doesn't mean they both learned the same thing. One could have actually learned the material; while the other simply learned the test. So; that's where the school profile comes in. They see the history of that school's graduates and what they do after graduating. They see the curriculum. They see if there's any standardized curriculum like the IB program. They look at your EC, volunteering, leadership, etc...

    When the academy looks at your online application entries; combine that with your GPA; combined with your school's profile; combine that with your ACT/SAT; combine that with your teacher's recommendations; combined with athletic accomplishments; combined with how many hours of volunteer time and extra curricular activities you do; and then interview you to see if all of that seems to match the applicant;.... then finally combine all this with what makes you a benefit to the academy and the air force.... the review board can get a pretty good feel for the "Whole person" in you.

    They've been doing this for quite a while. They've got it figured out pretty well. Some might think they have a better way or what they think would be more fair; but it isn't. The academy's way is the best way. And for what it's worth; with the exception of some very minor differences, the other academies do it basically the same exact way.
     
  14. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

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    Eagle, I am an engineer with an MBA. So yes by nature I analyze everything in an effort to understand the process so I can fix, fully utilize, maximize, or work around the process depending on what is required.

    In the case of the USAFA admissions process, I have found this forum to be a mine of useful information, experience, and data. Gaining some understanding of the admissions process has allowed our family and specifically my DS to be more proactive in the process. I have found that looking back at past years has given us a heads up on what will likely happen in the coming year and allow us to be a bit more proactive instead of solely reactive.

    For instance, DS is currently a Falcon Scholar at NWP (Northwestern Prep) because he received the dreaded QNV (Qualified No Vacancy) letter last year. DW and I see this as a real blessing because he is getting an even better foundation for entrance in 2012 so that he can succeed as an Air Force officer (and his NWP tuition is largely paid for by the AOG). He received the Falcon Scholarship letter in early May but we had already enrolled him at NWP back in March. By reading this forum, I was able to make a semi-educated guess that DS might not get an appointment. He was a state-ranked competitive swimmer with good EC's and ACT and CFA scores in the average range for appointees but was not competitive with his GPA or Class Rank because he was home schooled in high school and his other scores were just not high enough to get the appointment. So I had already talked with the Director at NWP and DS had already applied when he received the QNV as well as the Faclon Scholarship weeks later.

    By learning from other's experiences we were able to be proactive in helping guide our son through this very challenging and long process that is only the beginning of the real deal -> Going to the Academy, which is only the first step in getting through the Academy, which is really only the very bringing of their career as an officer.
     
  15. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Listen to DAD when he says
    Honestly while you are in the process it is personal, when you get out of it your perspective changes. The AHAH light bulb starts going off with the inevitable, I get it now.

    Right now many posters and AFA candidates do not understand prep school apptmts. They have a fallacy that it goes to candidates that were runner ups...like wait listing for a traditional university.

    That could be no further from the truth. It exists because they believe they will be an ideal SA candidate if they have 1 more yr of an academic foundation to meet the AFA stds.

    Currently, you are seeing stats thrown around, and using them as your barometer. Later on you start to see that the candidate you believed academically was below you who got a principal, was never your true competition. You are from FL and they are from SD.

    You will also :scratch: when your child gets an AFROTC scholarship, but the kid on the same slate didn't. AFROTC doesn't talk with AFA. AFA super scores the SAT, which is a part of PAR. AFROTC takes the best sitting which is also PAR. In the end you could have a better SAT for PAR with AFROTC, but not for AFA since it is super scored. DO NOT ASSUME AN AFROTC SCHOLARSHIP = AFA APPOINTMENT.

    As for the transparency issue regarding the PAR system, I can only say this welcome to the military!

    If this is bothering you now, just wait...wait for AFSC board as a C1C. Wait for promotion boards.

    You have limited control, but you do have control of your submission packet.
     
  16. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    Nor that a USAFA appointment = AFROTC scholarship as I learned! lol
     

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