How important is class rank?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by KelseyS, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. KelseyS

    KelseyS New Member

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    First off I live in AR.

    I made the decision to attend the USAFA in 9th grade and have been struggling to meet my goals since. My current class ranks is 39 out of 195. My cumulative GPA is 3.4. I know. I know. My entire Junior class is competitive and the majority of us are in at least 1 AP class. For example, here's this years schedule/grades:

    PreAP Chemistry B
    PreAP PreCal/Trig B
    Spanish 1 A(Needed to graduate with Honors)
    Child Development A (just a semester class)
    AFJROTC A
    AP English Lit and Comp A
    AP US History B


    It really frustrates me that I'm not in that "10% of your class" range. How important is this going to be?? :/
     
  2. usmc8

    usmc8 Member

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    Don't stress yourself out about the things you no longer control. Your class rank is what it is and I am sure (although limited knowledge) that candidates have been appointed with lesser stats.

    Also, as said numerous times on this forum, the admissions ranks candidates as a whole person score and they take many factors into account. For example, your math and science scores in those PreAP classes are slightly low, however will not kill you, but what are your SAT and ACT scores? Perhaps those can make up for the small areas you may be lacking.

    Again, I'm just a candidate like yourself, but ive been through the process twice and my best advice for you is to not sweat the things you can't control, but rather keep determined to be the best PERSON you can be in everything you do. My stats were not the best either. I did a prep school year, and a college year to make up for where I lacked in high school. If the Academy is really where you wanna be someday, then youll get it. Just never give up, never count yourself out and just be confident because regardless of what happens, you've grown through the application process and you've learned a lot about yourself.

    I wish you the best of luck.

    USMC8
    USNA 2017 Appointee
     
  3. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    Class rank can act as a good snapshot of how competitive you are within your, duh, class. It is not the end-all of the discussion but another piece of the pie. USAFA will look at the statistics for your school. how many go on to 4 year colleges? Do they rank non-college bound students' GPAs in with the Honors or AP students? Do they weight AP grades heavier for GPA?

    Keep working -
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    +1 fencer

    No offense, but almost every kid believes they attend a competitive school. The rank and school profile tells the AFA how competitive the school is.

    If you are top 10% and 50% go Ivy, that is a different ball of wax than if you are top 25% and 0% go Ivy.

    When our DS went through the process his gc told us, that the forms she had to fill out, included:
    Breakdown of % that went Ivy, Private, Public IS and OOS, 2 yr or nothing.
    Number of APs offered and the pre-reqs to take an AP
    ~~~I.E at his school you couldn't take AP Bio unless you had already taken Bio Honors.~~~ Our DD attended another HS in another state and she could take AP Bio, Honors or std. In essence she was able to take more APs because she wasn't duplicating.

    They aren't going to hold it against you if you have less APs if it was the school's program. What they will hold against you is if you didn't take the most rigorous course load. This is why the GC's report is important, and why it will include the % that take APs.

    The sealed transcript will also add in one more factor...the weighting and scale for each class. Is the weight a 6.0 for AP or a 4.5? Is the scale a 7 pt or 10 pt. This is why some candidates will see their cgpa change.

    If you have ever ordered a hard copy of the SAT and requested schools to be sent the scores, look at the very bottom of the page. Typically they will have a breakdown of what that school will use as your cgpa, and how you fit in the mean of the SAT/ACT scores for admissions. For our DS1 the cgpa had a 0.25 cgpa variation depending on the school. His cgpa actually increased because the school didn't hand out As like candy, it was a 7 pt scale, the amount of students that went Ivy, plus their AP/jump start requirements.

    It is not just the cgpa, like the WCS, it is the WHOLE picture.
     
  5. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    My kids were home/cyber schooled and were in the local university for dual enrollment from the time they were 16. I am sure USAFA had to take a hard look at their stats that were objective: SAT, ACT, etc. since there wasn't a typical high school to consider. I think the fact that they were in a big university, taking Physics, Calc, Psych, Sociology, etc. really worked in their favor (all A's there, too which helped).

    So, as PIMA says, it's not just your class rank. Show them:

    You have taken the most difficult course work you could at your school, or sought it elsewhere to enhance your education.

    You have demonstrated leadership ability

    You have maintained a very high level of physical fitness, through team sports in your school, community sports (fencing (yay!), Karate, other martial arts, marathon club, etc). Dedication to a particular sport will count in your favor.

    You have also worked (at a paying job) and maintained your grades, still participated in sports and community service activities

    You are a leader in your community through service projects, volunteer positions, and recognized programs

    Academics are definitely very important, but you must have the whole package, especially now with the shrinking enrollment. Do your absolute best in all you do!
     

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