Class Rank Important?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Dadx4, Aug 4, 2017.

  1. Dadx4

    Dadx4 Member

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    Does falling outside of the top 10% knock a candidate down the ladder or out of contention? My kid is at 13% with a 3.9 unweighted GPA, 4.5 weighted. Superscored SAT 740M, 700E. From these numbers, it would appear that the school gives grades easily. Thanks in advance for input.
     
  2. MidwestDad

    MidwestDad Member

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    There is no magic cutoff for class rank; it is used to gauge competitiveness and grade inflation which is more and more rampant everywhere. Top 15% is pretty solid IMHO; if 1 out of 7 kids has a 4.5 GPA that does sound like easy grading to me . . .

    Real issue is how candidates match up with other applicants in your state / district on the MOC nomination slates; some districts are far more competitive than others.

    DS' HS did not report rank at all; it was not a dealbreaker [similar stats to what you listed.]

    Hopefully there are solid athletic and leadership roles to complement the transcript and test scores - that is what sets candidates apart from the rest.
     
  3. Christcorp

    Christcorp 10-Year Member

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    In an average year, the class profile shows those that received an appointment were in the following:

    Top 10% 57.7%
    Top 20% 79.7%
    Top 25% 84.9%
    Top 50% 97.6%

    So, your kid at 13% puts that at about the 65% of appointees. Not a big problem.

    What is of more concern; "IN MY OPINION"; is what the rest of the school's "Profile" looks like. I say this because; if your kid has a 3.9gpa unweighted; and 4.5gpa weighted, and their are only at a ranking of 13%; that tells me a LOT of the students receive "A's". There's a lot of reasons this could happen. Some very legitimate reasons. Some not so. The school could be very easy on grading, and it's not difficult. This would mean that out of every 10 classes taken, a student is getting 9 "A's" and 1 "B". That equals a 3.9gpa. BUT, if there are 400 graduating seniors, and you are ranked 13%, then that means 52 other kids did better than 9 "A's" and 1 "B" out of 10 classes. Basically, it seems like grades are pretty easy at the school. Considering that "Nationally", the average gpa is as follows:
    • Math: 2.65
    • Science: 2.70
    • English: 2.85
    • Social studies: 2.89
    • OVERALL: 3.0

    It is possible however that the school is made up of most smart kids. Maybe a private school; or similar where the average public school doesn't go. In this case, it's not uncommon for the average GPA at the school to be closer to 3.5gpa unweighted. That would also mean that more students would be in the "A" category.

    That's why the "School's Profile" is so important to the academy. They can see the classes offered; classes taken; how many kids attend college after graduating; more importantly WHAT COLLEGES they attend. I.e. If 50% attend college and 90% of that 50% go to State "U" or community college; vs a school where 70% go on to college; and 50% of that 70% go to "OTHER THAN State U" colleges, that's very significant.

    So, don't worry about what the gpa and class rank means. Bottom line is; there is absolutely NOTHING you can do about it. If you were talking about a freshman in high school who had time to change things; that would be different. But it is what is is. Apply; promote your positive attributes in the application; show your passion with the ALO interview and MOC interviews. Do your best. Best of luck to your son/daughter.
     
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  4. Dadx4

    Dadx4 Member

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    Thanks MidwestDad. He has some extracurriculars and leadership. We are in a very competitive district.
     
  5. Dadx4

    Dadx4 Member

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    Thanks Christcorp! It's a private school with 100% attending college and $20 million in scholarships to a graduating class of 170 last year. They regularly put kids into service academies and top tier schools. I guess the only thing he can do now is keep taking SATs and push up the scores if possible.
     
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  6. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American 5-Year Member

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    This makes me wonder about the selection process. Using those numbers for a class of 1200 appointees, that would mean that about 28 or 29 appointees did not even graduate in the top 50% of their class.

    Kids with stellar credentials are turned away every year. Perhaps the 2.4% are kids from schools that dont rank, but I doubt it.
     
  7. MidwestDad

    MidwestDad Member

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    There are always foreign and active duty appointees, these may be impacting the results.
     
  8. Cerberi

    Cerberi Member

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    1. Class rank matters - it is a key indicator of success especially in the midst of grade inflation. It factors in with the school profile. Frankly it factors in with many different items, but it matters.

    2. I would wager that many of those people not in the 80th percentile were priors/NAPS/and those that went to college or some other post high school educational program. (There is no incentive for SAs to admit people with no chance of surviving academically - this was not always the case)
     
  9. Christcorp

    Christcorp 10-Year Member

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    Also, there are home schooled kids and an increasing number of schools that don't rank students. In one of my other posts, I showed a school in Virginia that is so "uncompetitive" and they think it's bad, that they had MORE than 100 Valedictorian in their graduating class.

    So don't automatically assume 28 or 29 were below 50%. Between home school, prior enlisted, foreign, and schools that don't rank, that number can easily be slashed.

    But even if we are talking about 1 or 2, they could be kids that had stellar act, sat, leadership, etc. but had a 3.2 gap because their school sucked, and they got accepted to the prep school. There's a lot of possibilities to account for just 2% of the appointees.
     
  10. MN-Dad-2016

    MN-Dad-2016 5-Year Member

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    $20,000,000/170==$117K per student?!! Impressive! But "chump change" compared to here https://www.becauseofthemwecan.com/...-receive-more-than-65-million-in-scholarships. One student was offered >$9 Million.:eek:
     
  11. Wishful

    Wishful "Land of the free, because of the brave..." 5-Year Member

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  12. Dadx4

    Dadx4 Member

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    Yup can't beat that.
    So, I talked to my kid about this issue, and we decided that the ONLY thing left to do is to keep taking SAT and improve to make up for the class rank perception. He said that it's not grade inflation...but there are some very hard chargers in his class. If he doesn't get in, there's always work at the local donut shop haha. Thank you for everyone who responded and messaged. We really appreciate it.
     
  13. jl123

    jl123 Member

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    USMA had a candidate a few years ago who was an excellent student, but ranked in the bottom 10% of her high school class. She had outstanding test scores, grades, AP scores etc, but went to a small school of very high achievers - she was the dumbest genius in the class. Of course she received an appointment, but on the school profile she still fell into those appointed from the bottom 50% of their high school class.

    Others appointed with lower high school class ranks may include those coming from enlisted ranks and doing prep school to boost their academics, college applicants that made up for mediocre high school performance, and applicants that can throw a 50 yard spiral.
     
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