More High Schools Consider Eliminating Class Rankings

Some schools report increase in students getting into colleges when they don't report class rank.

By + More

Several public school systems in Wisconsin are considering doing away with high school class ranking—emboldened by the claim that high schools that have discarded rankings are seeing more of their students get into competitive colleges and universities. District administrators in the state say that too many excellent students are overlooked when schools report class rankings to colleges. "We've got a high-achieving district with very bright students, but you can only have so many in the top 10 percent," one district assistant superintendent told the Associated Press. She cited as an example one senior with a 3.88 grade-point-average who organized a fundraiser for displaced Ugandan citizens and is active on other fronts, but who isn't ranked in the top 25 percent of her class. A high school principal reported that the number of seniors admitted to the University of Wisconsin-Madison jumped from 18 to 46 in the two years since his district abandoned class rankings.

Other public and private schools in the country have also stopped publicizing class rankings and eliminated naming a valedictorian in favor of recognizing more top students. But many schools—including high schools in Pittsburgh and Hartford, Conn.—still give parents and students the choice of releasing their class rank to colleges that require it or in instances when it would benefit the student.

high school
college admissions