Magazine article New York Times Upfront

Does Class Rank Make the Grade? Many High Schools Have Stopped Ranking Students, Forcing Colleges to Put More Weight on SAT Scores

Magazine article New York Times Upfront

Does Class Rank Make the Grade? Many High Schools Have Stopped Ranking Students, Forcing Colleges to Put More Weight on SAT Scores

Article excerpt

Every year, colleges across the country are flooded with thousands of applications, and admissions officers spend countless hours poring over essays, recommendation letters, transcripts, and SAT and ACT scores in search of the perfect candidates.

But something is missing from many applications these days: a class ranking, once an important factor in college-admissions decisions.

It is estimated that nearly 40 percent of high schools no longer rank their students or have stopped giving the information to colleges. These schools hope the change will cut down on competition among their students and force admissions officials to look more closely at each applicant.

TOTAL PICTURE

"When you don't rank, then they have to look at the total child," says Jeanne Friedman, principal of Miami Beach High School, which will end class ranking next year.

Some schools also feel that ranking harms the chances of their good, but not best, students getting into prestigious schools: They say that the gap between a student ranked second and a student ranked 14th can be minuscule, but the one ranked second is more likely to make the cut, and therefore has an unfair advantage.

FRUSTRATED DEANS

Many college officials deplore the shift away from ranking, saying it forces them to make less-informed decisions and essentially recreate an applicant's class rank. This process has left them exasperated.

And when high schools don't provide enough information to re-create rank, some admissions directors say they have little choice but to give more weight to scores on the SAT and other standardized tests. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.