The argument for class ranks

GPA- the single most important factor attributed to success in high school. As students approach junior and senior year, the competition and drive for higher class rank accelerates. Class rank measures how a student’s academic performance compares to others in his or her grade. One question currently looms over the academic realm: Should class rank be eliminated?

Many students claim class rank increases student motivation and benefits the school overall.

“Class rank should be kept because it pushes people to take harder classes and encourages a system of competition that, in a school such as ours, allows people to be better in everything they do,” Brandon Nwokeji (12), currently in the top 20 of the senior class, said.

Eliminating the class rank system could have an adverse effect on schools.

“Competitiveness in schools would diminish,” Shridhar Athinarayanan (11) said. “Not having class rank would demotivate students and wouldn’t allow them to be as competitive as they can be.”

While some believe the system is unfavorable, ranking actually profits both students and colleges. Colleges weigh less heavily on standardized test scores if a student has a high class rank.

“Popular comments say class rank’s unhealthy for students and bad for colleges, but it shows colleges that students, especially ones who don’t have high test scores, are still pushing themselves to take harder classes,” Nwokeji said.

Applicants are now coming from high schools with “unorthodox ranking systems that make little sense,” Jim Bock, Dean of Admissions at Swarthmore College, said. Admissions officers lack a critical data point used to judge a student’s performance. Without class rank, it’s difficult to distinguish one student from another.