WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y.-- Williamsville Schools set off a lot of discussion when the board announced Tuesday its high schools won't have class rankings, starting with this year's freshman class.
It sparked a question: How will the lack of class rank affect students when applying for college and scholarships?
The answer from industry experts and proponents is essentially, "It won't."
The National Association for College Admission Counseling reports that more than half of all high schools are no longer reporting student rankings. Williamsville's three high schools are just the latest to join that statistic.
Dan Domenech, president of the AASA, the National Superintendents' Association, tells 2 On Your Side this is a trend, "I have to say, a welcome trend as far as educators are concerned, in looking and evaluating the total child."
The vast majority of colleges and universities across the nation give class rank less weight in the acceptance process. A 2015 college admission report shows about 14% of colleges nationwide place considerable importance on ranking. That's a 12% drop from 2006.
Williamsville School Board members voted unanimously Tuesday to eliminate class rank beginning with the current freshmen class. All three principals spoke at the school board meeting to support the move.
School counselors also collected admission information from SUNY schools to support the decision. They confirmed that the 6 institutions surveyed don't require class rank for admittance. Candidacy is considered based on GPA, standardized test scores, rigorous class schedules, extra-curriculars and school profiles.
This doesn't change the fact that some universities across the country still place considerable weight behind class rank. If high schools don't provide one, some colleges will even go so far as to compute a rank for the prospective student, using algorithms.
For those parents concerned about how class rank might affect acceptance and scholarships, admissions experts say class rank is just one data point used in the processing of applications. The lack of which simply forces admissions officers to look more intensely at applications.