School rank?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by ny2020, Sep 26, 2014.

  1. ny2020

    ny2020 New Member

    Sep 26, 2014
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    Does the rank of your high school have any weight in the application process? I currently attend an extremely selective, Top 10 Newsweek and Top 50 US News and World Report High School, among other high national rankings. Does USAFA take notice of what school you're applying from?
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2014
  2. AFrpaso

    AFrpaso USAFA Alumnus 5-Year Member

    Mar 5, 2012
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  3. Christcorp

    Christcorp 5-Year Member

    May 21, 2008
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    It's not a simple yes or no answer. It's good that you go to a selective and competitive school that is highly ranked. You should be proud of that. But the academies can't and don't give you extra points for going to such a school. The truth is, more than 90% of kids don't have a choice on what school they attend. The academies know this. This is why they require exch applicant to have their school send their school profile.

    The profile tells what classes the school offers. The type of students that graduate from there. What universities they attend after. Etc. the purpose is to put all applicants and schools on the same level. It's not fair if an applicant goes to a school that doesn't offer many or any AP classes. Or what about the home schooled kids? If the academy concentrated on the schools that were prestigious, the academy would only have cadets from the rich private schools or the 800+ that have the IB program.

    All schools have a diverse curriculum to choose from. The academy gives applicants extra points if they are taking the most challenging classes their school has to offer. Be it some AP classes, honors classes, in the IB program, etc. and even extra classes at a local community college.

    This is why your ACT and SAT tests are so important. That's the one academic equalizer among all kids in the country. So while the academy may look favorably on you for going to a prestigious or competitive school, what matters more is how you do there. If you take the minimum required classes, you may not get as many academic points as the kid who went to a public school who took ALL AP classes and had a 3.9 gpa. Or the home school kid who also took community college classes during the summer. Or the kid that went into the IB program from 9th to 12th grade.

    So definitely be proud of yourself for being accepted to a highly ranked school, whether it's private or public. But if you aren't taking the most challenging classes your school has to offer and staying in the top 10% of your class, the you're not going to have the advantage that your hoping for. And again, the ACT and SAT is the great equalizer. If a kid in public school with no IB program and only a hand full of AP classes gets a 3,95+ gpa and nails 33+ on their ACT tests, then they are going to have more points than the kid in the highly rated private prestigious school who has a 3.6 gpa and 27 ACT scores.

    So again, do the best you can with what you have. If your course difficulty and your gpa and ACT and SAT scores are competitive with others, then the ranking and selectivity of your school will come into play. But not if you don't take advantage of the privilege you've been offered being at such a good school. Best of luck.

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