School Rank and Course Rigor


Does your school rigor and rank go into consideration during admissions? For example, if your school has a harder cirriculum but is also highly ranked within your state/nation, will admissions take that into account when looking at your stats such as GPA? If so, to what extent would it affect how they look at your academic portion of your application?


Yes, school profile is considered by admissions. Exactly how much it counts or influences, none of us know. Only admissions knows the exact amount.
So if you went to a better school and had a lower gpa compared to someone who went to a not as good school with a higher gpa admissions will take that into consideration?


SAs will closely scrutinize your transcript, in the full context of your school profile. They want to know that you took the hardest classes your school has to offer and excelled at them. One is not penalized if their school does not offer AP classes. If your school doesn’t rank — a growing number don’t — SAs have a way of calibrating based on what they know. But as many things SA-admissions related, we don’t know the secret sauce that goes into that. As many here say, worry only about what you can control.


Didn't you start almost the same exact thread last week? Not sure why you started a new one.
I did however that one a lot of people focused more toward how I compared myself toward other schools and people within as opposed to this question which I wanted a more in depth answer of


Depending on school, they may or may not give out school profile. They can be secretive about it.

What applies to my DD only applies to my DD is her experience so far in this cycle:

If you are applying USAFA and USMMA, once the GC uploads her items, you can view transcript/school profile/senior schedule EXCEPT NOT their recommendation form. But by this time, it's too late - it is what it is.

This is what we did the past 3 years: Do a google search by your school, or buried within your district's website. They often have some stats available with are part of the school profile. DD's publicly available data show ave. SAT/ACT/PSAT, Ave. AP score, and we always know about how many National Merit F/SF/C there are, Title 1 stuff, and other state gobbly-gook. She knew her approx class rank, they've known since Kinder based on if they were assigned the red, blue, green, or yellow table.

One more way: Depending on your Nom application requirements, if you have to send in a transcript, your GC may make an exception and give you a school profile copy AND let you see it. But again, there's no more planning or goal setting by this time.


Sometimes the school has a doc prepared describing the distributions of grades and test scores over the past few years and then places the individual student in a quintile or decile with an evaluation of the difficulty of courses taken. Ig your school has Naviance you can use that to get a good idea as well. But @HCopter is right, the kids have a very good idea who falls where.


Do you know what's contained within the school profile they submit?
I would hazard a guess that each counselor would likely prepare this a little differently. Our DS counselor had to generate a profile. It included total school enrollment, graduation rates, drop out rates, average act and sat, enrollment of his cohort, his rank in it, how they calculate GPA, rural school, Title 1 school, courses offered, sports offered, attendance rates. Percentage of ELL students, percent of male/female, clubs offered, school 'awards/labels/rankings', accreditation, rural setting. Lots of details.
Don't overthink it, SA's are proficient and reading all of the data and making informed decisions. Put your best application out there and keep working on your senior year and plan B-Z. And enjoy your senior year.
Good luck to you.


Example of a school profile:

ABC H.S. is a specialized school that emphasizes the disciplines of science, mathematics, and technology in support of its pre-engineering career focus. The application process has become increasingly competitive with approximately sixty-five students being selected each year from a pool of approximately three hundred outstanding applicants, representing a cross-section of students from fifty-five sending school districts.

Students apply as 8th graders and are accepted based on multiple criteria, including middle school grades, and performance on district developed assessments. A member of the National Consortium of Specialized Secondary Schools of Mathematics, Science and Technology (NCSSSMST), ABC H.S. has been described by the U.S. Dept. of Education as a “benchmark school.” It went on to say the school “evidences that its approach embraces student, faculty, staff, and administration alike in a mission of excellence, requiring the most of, and providing the most to, all who enter there.”

Accreditation: Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools & NJ Department of Education

62 Graduates
Four Year College -> 100%
NMSQT/PSAT 31 Commended -> 9 Semi-Finalists/Finalists -> 3 Winners
SAT I Mean Scores: 685 (Critical Reading), 725 (Math), 680 (Writing)
AP Exams 100% tested, 151 total exams taken, 94.7% scoring 3 or above

AP Courses Biology, Calculus (AB, BC), Chemistry, Physics C, Statistics

Grading System All courses at ABCHS are taught at the Honors level and grades are therefore not weighted or inflated.
92-100 (A) = Superior Proficiency
85-91 (B) = Above Average Proficiency
77-84 (C) = Proficient
70-76 (D) = Partial Proficiency
55-69 (F) = Not Proficient/No Credit

Class Rank The majority of our students earn grades that are exemplary. Each year a large percentage of the senior class receives Semi-Finalist or Commended Status on the NMSQT. We believe that our students’ levels of achievement are not fully communicated by using class rank as a singular transcript statistic. ABC High School and XXX School District policy, therefore, precludes reporting of class rank.

(then there is a list of courses offered)


@sebgb. Don’t over think this. Just submit your best Package! And manage what you can still control. Since your school doesn’t rank your school will not provide rank to admissions. Not even estimate. Admissions have several ways to figure this out. One of them is to pull rank from ACT and SAT. If you did well this can work in your favor. Good luck.