DS is applying for class of 2018. He attended AIM; He has 4 years of AFJROTC; Two summer sessions of COLS at the Citadel (one as a cadre and flight commander); He already has 8 CR hrs of calculus and physics from Virginia Commonwealth University; He lettered in two varsity sports and has been JV captain twice and varsity captain once; His SAT scores are 2050 w/ a 770 Math; He is the XO of his JROTC Corps; President Mu Alpha Theta; Captain Academic Bowl team; and GPA is 4.44 weighted and 3.81 un-weighted. I assume that most of what is listed above is fairly commonplace for the CGA and will not be overly impressive, but hopefully adequate. In any case, here's the bad news. He is only ranked 96 out of 383 (Top 25%). It is really bothering him. His high school is a US News & World Report Gold Medal HS. Whether you subscribe to the rankings or not, they put DS's school in the top 500 Nationally (2%) based on college readiness. There just ridiculously high GPAs at his school. I mean absurdly high GPAs. Students take PE in the summer so they can add more weighted classes during the year. They also take early bird classes (come in at 6:30AM) so they can take an 8 class load in order to boost the GPA. It's crazy. I applaud the efforts and results of these driven students, but many are not involved in extra curricular activities at all. DS plays school sports, club sports, ROTC, lifeguards, etc... in addition to maintaining his grades. He has loved AFJROTC and all that it has taught him. One of his proudest moments was when the Academic Bowl team qualified for National JLAB event at George Mason University. Looking back now, the JROTC is non-weighted and cost DS .17 in GPA. His 4.44 could have been a 4.61 which would have moved him to about Top 15%. Two B's in 4 years of Spanish didn't help either! I have read that many colleges are placing less emphasis on class rank and looking for demonstrated interest. Before I whine anymore about the Class Rank... How important is it? Is a mere Top 25% a deal breaker for DS's application? Since learning there will not be an LOA, I'm afraid panic is setting in. Not for DS, but for me. When you see your child start down this path at such a young age with such resolve and determination it is absolutely nerve racking to know that the decision is out of your hands and that you've done all you can do (to this point anyways). Funny or perhaps sad, I somehow feel that posting here somehow helps. I guess it's just therapeutic. Then again, I did learn about the 5 LOAs and the Genesis Program from visiting here.