NC will no longer rank students academically


Janett Rodriguez

Magnet seniors Chandler Quaile and Maggie Glancy stand together questioning the disappearance of their class rank in the counselor’s office. “I emailed my counselor asking if they had access to viewing my class rank, but she told me that even the school counselors don’t have access to the class ranks anymore,” Magnet senior Maggie Glancy said. Students question whether Cobb County’s decision to remove the class ranking system will benefit them in the long run.

Janett Rodriguez, Staff

After returning from summer vacation, NC students walked into their homeroom classes, and teachers handed out their updated transcripts. Students looked surprised when a blank space appeared next to their class ranks. As of the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year, Cobb County decided to remove class ranks from all county high schools; as a result, students will no longer find themselves ranked among each other by GPA. This decision prompted a great deal of relief on the part of many students.

“I’m actually really thankful for it. I think ranking students by their GPA is an unhealthy competition to be having during senior year. I’d rather look at everyone as my peers who are all striving towards the goal of getting into college and taking this final step together as a class,” Magnet senior Chandler Quaile said.

As the NC class of 2020 prepare for their next step in life, students brace for the process of applying for scholarships and their dream colleges. The pressure to apply for scholarships and colleges lived in the back of their minds for years. With parents, teachers and counselors constantly reminding seniors about these deadlines, the weight on their shoulders gradually increases. Students spent the past three years working towards meeting their own goals and doing whatever it takes to place at the top of their class: if that meant spending the majority of their time studying, taking extra Advanced Placement (AP) classes, or paying for SAT/ACT classes to improve test scores, they accepted the challenge.

Other students felt disappointed after receiving their transcripts. Seeing their class rank and knowing they held a position at the top of their class gave them satisfaction and contentment of all the hard work and time they put in. These students believed that maintaining the title of the top ten of their class put them at an advantage to everyone else. In applying for certain scholarships and colleges, students must provide their class rank. Instead, counselors advised students to state that their high school does not implement a class ranking system. Counselors reassure students that not including their class rank will not decrease their odds of acceptance into colleges or scholarships.

“I think it is a very disappointing decision on the part of the county. I attend a very large school, and my ranking was something I was really proud of. In my opinion, if you are not proud of your ranking, then that is on you, and you need to make the decision to improve yourself academically,” Magnet senior Maggie Glancy said.

Earning a high position in your class rank impresses colleges, but colleges look farther into your application than just that number. They also take into consideration your extracurricular activities and the characteristics that shape you as a person. Colleges will not see your class rank number as a deal breaker. Instead, counselors advise students to include information that makes them stand out from other students. 

“I think a lot of colleges know that we aren’t just seen as numbers. That’s why you write essays and spend a great amount of time on these applications. It’s not just ‘What’s your class rank or GPA’, there’s a lot more to that,” Quaile said.

As the deadlines for colleges and scholarships approach, NC senior students will continue to excel in their classes and take every opportunity to show colleges the diligence and persistence that lives inside them.