What is class rank and does it matter?

Most seniors know that your GPA and test scores are two of the most important parts of your college application. However, some students are not aware that another metric of academic performance, known as class rank, is sometimes evaluated by college admissions professionals when assessing your college application. What is your class rank and how important is it?

Your class rank is how well you are performing in your studies compared to other students in your class. Similar to a GPA, class rank is a calculation of your grades, in relation to how difficult the course material is and what academic level it is – senior year of high school versus freshmen year of college, for instance.

Many schools no longer bother to report the class rank statistic and, as a result, it doesn't tend to matter in the college application process. Some schools may require this number, but many will not. Schools that still use the class rank as part of its admissions process may do so due to the number of applicants, or to determine eligibility for scholarships.

Above all, try not to worry about your class rank. Make sure that you study hard, and maintain a good GPA and SAT scores. These two things are usually much more important than class rank, and if you achieve good grades and test results, your class rank will improve anyway. 

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