Cup of Commentary

I’m going to admit: I was a little disappointed when I came home and opened the mail a few weeks ago. I knew my report card had arrived in the mail. However, this time, I noticed something was missing in the lower right corner of the page; I did not see my class rank on the sheet. I then remembered the letter that was sent home about removing the rank, which sparked a discussion that would make its way to the dinner table one way or another.
Class rank was removed for a number of reasons. The school’s intent was to help students receive college admission, as many other schools have different ranking systems (dependent upon number of students, weight and rigor of classes, etc). According to school officials, class rank was doing more harm than good for prospective college freshmen, as they would be compared to other students without class rank and appeared less attractive to admission representatives. Many neighboring schools have already taken away class rank, which does not give college admissions the ability to compare how the student flourished among their classmates.
Despite this negative effect, one should note that many colleges don’t consider class rank in admissions anymore. Emphasis has been placed upon placement exams such as the ACT and personal essays written. More and more colleges are now focusing on an individual’s involvement with extracurricular activities and are looking for a more rounded student. Apparently, a student that participates in numerous clubs but has a 3.5 GPA would fit this guideline as opposed to the student who focuses on his/her academics and does not participate in any activities. However, every college is different in their selection process.
I can respect the school’s reasoning for removing class rank. Although there is a way to request one’s class rank on the transcript, it eliminates another acknowledgement of success one may have when opening their report card. It levels out the competition for prospective college applicants, which can benefit many students. Soon, class rank will just be a thing of the past, and the idea will seem ridiculous to future students. I think it’s important to know one’s standing in a class, as it can reveal how hard a student has worked among his/her classmates. Many schools announce “magna cum” and “cum laude” at graduation to acknowledge these special students, which is something I hope the school seriously considers if they are removing class rank. High school is designed to prepare students for college, and I firmly believe that it’s important to reward those who excel in a public manner.