• New Class Rank Policy

    Frequently Asked Questions

    The new class rank policy will go into effect this fall, August 23, 2010, with the senior class of 2011. Since this change in policy will affect our next graduating class, we wanted to be sure you were informed of this change before the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year. Students desiring a transcript with their current GPA and class rank must order it prior to midnight on Sunday, August 22, 2010. The transcripts will be processed and ready for pickup at the campus approximately one week from the order date. Beginning Monday, August 23, class rank will no longer be available for any student who is not in the top 10 percent.

    Here are some questions and answers regarding the change:

    1. What is the reason for the policy change?

    Since the vast majority of Coppell High School students go on to pursue a degree in higher education after graduation, it is crucial that they receive close consideration from colleges and universities. CISD students are a high –performing group, and as a result, there is a large concentration of students with high grade point averages (GPAs). This impacts students in the following ways:

    • Students with a relatively high GPA often do not have high numerical class rank. An example would be that of the 2010 class of 746, a student with a GPA of 4.51 on a 5.0 scale would be ranked in the bottom half of their class, according to the study. This relatively low class rank could work against the student when his/her college application is being considered.
    • Small differences in GPA result in large differences in class rank. For example, approximately 60 % of this year's senior class of 746 was ranked within half of one point of each other.

    2. How will colleges and universities respond when they receive a transcript that does not include class rank?

    Colleges and universities typically prefer that class rank be listed on students' applications, primarily because it simplifies the application process. However, if class rank is not listed, admissions officials report that they give more weight to SAT and ACT scores, along with GPA and other criteria. According to the study, college admissions officers reported that “when class rank is omitted from a student's application, colleges consider other factors more closely. The most frequent response (17 out of 40) showed colleges would use GPA, whether alone, combined with course rigor, weighted GPA, GPA combined with SAT, GPA recalculated on core classes only, or GPA recalculated by some other method. In addition, many colleges will go to lengths to estimate rank or develop another objective measure by which to assess applicants.”

    3. Other than college admissions considerations, what factors weighed into the decision to change the class rank policy?

    CISD students and parents report high levels of stress in a very competitive environment. According to the study, students striving for the highest GPA and class rank often take classes based on grade-point weighting rather than based on genuine interest. In those cases, “students are unintentionally taught that the number is the ultimate measure by which to guide personal, education, and intellectual development,” the study states.

    A 2005 National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC) trend survey found that “schools that have eliminated the practice (of class rank) cite reasons such as giving their students a better chance at college admission, curbing student anxiety, and promoting the intrinsic value of learning among their students.”

    4. My child is graduating in 2011, so will he/she have a class rank when applying to college this fall?

    Numerical class rank will not appear on any student transcript as of August 22, 2010. For students in the top 10 percent applying to public Texas universities, their numerical class rank will be documented in a separate letter of certification. State law requires that Texas public school districts rank the top 10 percent for admissions purposes to Texas public universities.

    However, upcoming 2010-2011 senior students wanting to send their transcript with their current class rank may order transcripts for $5.00 each during Schedule Pick up on August 9, 2010 or on August 17, 2010 (Schedule Pickup Makeup night 5:00-6:30 PM).

    The transcripts will be processed and ready for pickup one week from the order date. After August 20th ranks will no longer be available for any student.

    5. How can upcoming 2010-2011 seniors obtain a transcript with their current class rank prior to the August 22, 2010 cutoff?

    Senior students wanting to send their transcript with their current class rank may request them through 11:59 p.m. on August 22, 2010 for a fee of $5.00. Requests may be submitted to Donna Poe at Coppell High School in person, via email, docufide or over the phone. Students may also order transcripts during “Schedule Pick-Up” on August 9th and 17th.
     
    6. How are CISD students affected at colleges and universities that have automatic admissions for a combination of a particular class rank and SAT/ACT score? For instance Texas A&M has an automatic admission for students in the top 25% who scored at the 1300 level or above on the SAT.
     
    Some universities including Texas A&M and UT will estimate a student's class rank using the data provided. This data includes GPA, SAT scores or ACT scores, school profile, type of grading scale used at the school, and courses taken by the student. If the school estimates the student's class rank at or above their criterion level, such as top 25% at Texas A&M, the student is still eligible for the automatic admission if the SAT/ACT also meets the criterion. In cases where the class rank is not necessary for the admission formula, schools will make admission decisions based soley on GPA and test scores.
     
    7. How will this affect graduation honors, including valedictorian and salutatorian?

    The tradition of honoring the valedictorian, salutatorian and top 10 graduates will continue. Students receiving these honors will continue to be selected from among the top ten graduates.
     
    If you have further questions, then please send them to ttrejo@coppellisd.com.