High school does not rank- any suggestions

Aina Haina

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Mar 19, 2017
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My DS is currently applying to USAFA and USNA. His school does not rank students. When talking to the school counselor, she made it clear that there is not a ranking system. When applying to NASS, USNA recommend he attempt to get a percentile if an exact number ranking was not available. Percentile ranking was also not available. His high school is on the more competitive side and does not suffer from grade inflation, and does not weight any AP/honors classes.

At some point, however, the SAs will need to have some sort of ideas as to where he ranks with respect to his peers. My guess is his counselor will need to draft some sort of letter to the SAs outlining their policy. Has anyone else been in a similar situation?
 

kinnem

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They can manage without getting a ranking. There are thousands of schools across the country that do not rank so this is not new to them. I believe they somehow use the school profile and the SAT/ACT scores to compute a "rank". Whatever the method is they know how to deal with it. Just let them know (again).
 

Aina Haina

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kinnem, thank you for the insight. As mentioned, DS is just beginning the process and excited about the road ahead. One step at a time...Many thanks!
 

kkg2000

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Mar 12, 2017
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My DS is currently applying to USAFA and USNA. His school does not rank students. When talking to the school counselor, she made it clear that there is not a ranking system. When applying to NASS, USNA recommend he attempt to get a percentile if an exact number ranking was not available. Percentile ranking was also not available. His high school is on the more competitive side and does not suffer from grade inflation, and does not weight any AP/honors classes.

At some point, however, the SAs will need to have some sort of ideas as to where he ranks with respect to his peers. My guess is his counselor will need to draft some sort of letter to the SAs outlining their policy. Has anyone else been in a similar situation?

We are in the same situation. I believe the counselor will send a school profile report which gives last year's senior class stats,lists all ap/h classes available to the students and it will also say that the school does not weigh grades or give class ranking.
 

ottonolan

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Jan 30, 2017
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The application asks for an unweighted gpa which for my DS was around a 3.6 at a competitive school. They also ask for a school profile from the counselor with the transcripts. Once the Academy reviewed the scores they changed it to a 4.26 with whatever criteria they use. So they do weight the coursework to provide some equity amongst all the different schools. I think the rank matters but is just one factor in how they consider academics. I've heard lately that some of the more competitive schools are abandoning the rank system because it is a benefit not to have it. I agree not to worry.
 

Aina Haina

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The application asks for an unweighted gpa which for my DS was around a 3.6 at a competitive school. They also ask for a school profile from the counselor with the transcripts. Once the Academy reviewed the scores they changed it to a 4.26 with whatever criteria they use. So they do weight the coursework to provide some equity amongst all the different schools. I think the rank matters but is just one factor in how they consider academics. I've heard lately that some of the more competitive schools are abandoning the rank system because it is a benefit not to have it. I agree not to worry.
Thank you for the responses, they are most helpful. Ottonolan, did the Academy send you some sort of notification by e-mail, through the portal??? that informed you folks of the 'new GPA' of 4.26?
 

ottonolan

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The application asks for an unweighted gpa which for my DS was around a 3.6 at a competitive school. They also ask for a school profile from the counselor with the transcripts. Once the Academy reviewed the scores they changed it to a 4.26 with whatever criteria they use. So they do weight the coursework to provide some equity amongst all the different schools. I think the rank matters but is just one factor in how they consider academics. I've heard lately that some of the more competitive schools are abandoning the rank system because it is a benefit not to have it. I agree not to worry.
Thank you for the responses, they are most helpful. Ottonolan, did the Academy send you some sort of notification by e-mail, through the portal??? that informed you folks of the 'new GPA' of 4.26?
It was just changed in the portal after the transcripts were reviewed.
 

MidwestDad

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Feb 15, 2017
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Our HS did not rank either; DS appointed to 2 SAs. I vehemently disagree with the 'we don't rank' PC policies but its becoming more common. Unfortunately it hurts applicants to top tier schools [Ivys etc.] since rampant grade inflation makes a 4.0/4.0 GPA pretty common.

As stated above the SAs will 'normalize' ranks based on ACT/SAT vs GPA combined with your high school's average test scores and prior years' class percentile profile. Most HSs still calculate legacy class percentiles without divulging individual results so colleges can at least get an idea of where a 3.85/4.0 GPA puts you.

On a related note colleges that use 'pass/fail' only for freshmen acclimation hurt grad school chances too; some top tier law schools for example treat a freshmen 'pass' as a 'C' for competitive admissions. Eventually it catches up with you; schools are doing our kids no favors by hiding their standings.
 

DrMom

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Lots of schools don't rank. Don't worry about it. The SA will compute an equivalent rank based on test scores and that sort of thing as described above.
In the pantheon of obstacles to admissions, this is really not one of them.
 

fencersmother

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The Service Academies are well aware of your (child's) school's naviance, its rankings or lack thereof.

This question has been asked and answered many times and fencersmother likes to have people do their searching on this site a bit before just wading in. Now, go cheer on those Steelers, I mean, Gonzaga!
 

momofmod

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Jan 29, 2017
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I have to smile when I see anyone say "it's a very competitive high school." These kids are the cream of the crop...very few, if any, come out of a less than super competitive program. Sorry to be b**chy just a pet peeve of mine! If it's any help to you my son received an appointment without being able to provide a class rank. His hs also does not inflate for APs or Honors and does not use a class ranking system. The grades are hugely important but don't forget, they're one piece of the equation.
 
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