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Discus: College Admissions: March 2004 Archive: Valedictorian
By Chrisk (Chrisk) on Tuesday, March 16, 2004 - 11:58 pm: Edit

My school just adopted a new ranking system where all grades are included in a weighted GPA, which is awful for people who have many cocurriculars (which count as 4.0, not 5.0)... so basically, the kids who just take the basic schedule with all APs get a 5.0, while ppl who take all of those AP classes plus a sport or a musical group are severely lowered in class rank. Since this system was adopted, i dropped from 1st in the class to 20th... anyone else in the same situation? Will colleges take this into consideration?

By Ickyfoo (Ickyfoo) on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 12:03 am: Edit

I know how you feel. I've been #1 for all 4 years until this semester when #2 dropped a sport which boosted his/her GPA. It sucks.

By Zephyrmaster (Zephyrmaster) on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 12:05 am: Edit

In the scope of things, it doesn't matter guys. :)

By Ickyfoo (Ickyfoo) on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 12:07 am: Edit

i know, i just hate being 2nd. especially when i'm so close.

By Aerin04 (Aerin04) on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 12:08 am: Edit

yeah... we have that system too. basically it blows and you cant do anything about it.

colleges have no choice but to take this into consideration. one's involvement in the music/theater/fine arts obviously will not be shunned.

By Chrisk (Chrisk) on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 12:11 am: Edit

Well, if you're applying to really difficult colleges it probably does matter... #1 and #20 look very different, and it sucks if some bum who does absoultely nothing gets the recognition after all of this hard work i've put in to do sports and music

By Dubsky08 (Dubsky08) on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 12:20 am: Edit

I had a similar thing happen to me but the system was already in effect and i was #4. But after several weeks and many pages of math i figured out how the school was screwing me on my GPA since i took extra classes at the University of DE (24 credits) so what i did was appeal to the superintendent and then the school board and won. I explained how it violated the discrimination clause in the school handbook since i took all of the weighted classes at my HS plus 24 college credits. They wouldn’t weight my extra 300 and 400 level college classes....
In the end I was put at a tie for first in my class even though i should have been ahead of everyone... But all of the Ivy's saw a 1 instead of a 4. You ought to challenge. You have nothing to lose... My teacher wrote me a killer letter to my top schools showing how i was the only student in like 20 years to win a appeal to the board and i did it all on my own. You can use it to your advantage and it adds another angle to your resume

By Royalchk (Royalchk) on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 12:22 am: Edit

Hey, have hope! The class rank business is, well, rank. Pure diligence is overrated--it works best when combined with curiosity, intellectual rebelliousness, and rationality.

Yea verily, I am 60/200 with the highest SAT in my class...:)

By Serdu (Serdu) on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 12:31 am: Edit

Don't worry. It happened to me, too. Sure, it hurts to be #2 or #20 when you know the difference is miniscule, but like someone above said, it really doesn't matter too much in the scope of things. Make sure you explain the situation to your colleges, they WILL understand.


By Socaljessie (Socaljessie) on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 12:33 am: Edit

I have the best rank! #3. It looks good to colleges, but I don't have to make a stupid speach at graduation (I am a bit on the shy side)

By Ickyfoo (Ickyfoo) on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 12:35 am: Edit

Heh, our school doesn't even recognize an actual "valedictorian" at graudation. I just want my final transcript to say #1 damnit! Is that so much to ask? :)

By Serdu (Serdu) on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 12:48 am: Edit

:) Haha. No, it really isn't! I understand you completely.

By Hardcohomeyg (Hardcohomeyg) on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 12:53 am: Edit

My school's valedictorian system is so f*ed up.
Everybody with above a 4.2 GPA that has taken 24 SEMESTERS of honors classes gets to automatically be valedictorian.So this year we have 7 projected valedictorians. Kinda cheapensthe whole deal. Especially when im the legitimate #1.

By Miseryxsignals (Miseryxsignals) on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 12:57 am: Edit

Haha Socaljessie,
Actually at my school theres like 25 "valedictorians" (which is defined as people above a 4.0 GPA culmative), so 3 of them get to make speeches. Thankfully for me, the *real val* doesnt have to make one, although I think there should be 1 valedictorian and 24 saludatorians... makes more sense.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 01:22 am: Edit

Misery....we have just one valedictorian which is based on rank. Only one person has the rank of 1. Same situation with Sal but with a rank of 2. However, at graduation, appr. the top 10 % of the class (am not sure if that is how they are chosen but it appears to be that) are recognized in the program as a "valedictory group". The principal says individualized remarks about each one and mentions where he/she is going to college. The val and sal have to make speeches.


By Calimom (Calimom) on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 02:06 am: Edit

My daughter's school doesn't weight grades. For years, the principal has been challenged by students to reconsider the policy so that students who have done well (4.0) in the harder classes (AP/honors) earn the true distinction of valedictorian. Currently, they are 11 vals in their the Class of 2004, only half of which took a true college prep curriculum.

By Flcbruin84 (Flcbruin84) on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 04:34 am: Edit

Seriously, one of the valedictorians of my class (2002)had straight A's but only 2 honor classes per semester. Ha, I had all A's and 2 B's in ALL IB/AP classes except for my advanced athletics period for cheerleading. I was upset at first but now I'm a second year biology major @ UCLA and not one person has asked me or even cares if I was the valedictorian of my high school. If you get the title, good for you, if not, don't cry a river about it. As I go on to find jobs and research positions in the quest to improve my medical school application, interviewers NEVER ask if i was the valedictorian in high school. And in the end, when I'm a doctor, I doubt my patients will ask me I was the valedictorian as well. Want my advice, do good in college at earn LATIN HONORS (cum laude, magna cum laude, and summa cum laude). The college gives anyone who reaches a high GPA these honors and having a framed college diploma with latin honors will be a lot more important than a stupid paper diploma with a little gold sticker on it that says VALEDICTORIAN. Best of luck to all of you, college is one heck of an EXPERIENCE!

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 10:57 am: Edit daughter is also valedictorian (there is only one), yet we do not have weighted grades here either. She never had it as a goal to be val. She got val despite the fact that she has taken all Honors/AP courses, the hardest curriculum in each subject you can all the way through high school (plus has accelerated and gone beyond the high school curriculum). The sal took NO Honors or AP courses in high school. It easily could have turned out that someone like her ended up ranked higher than a student like mine who did the most rigorous courseload. In fact, the sal is ranked above many kids in the hardest classes.

One thing to mention to kids who take very rigorous courses in a school with NO weighting is that while it seems unfair in terms of rank, the colleges will still see that they took the most challenging curriculum and selective colleges DO care about that, so all is not lost in that regard.

Because kids in challenging classes may not feel rewarded for opting to take the hardest courses, some kids do not opt to take these cause the only reward is challenge and learning (which is the MOST important thing/reason to take these classes) but no recognition in terms of rank, etc. Kids like this often do not feel good about this system that does not encourage challenging oneself in school. Because of that, my child, as a student senator, spent two full years researching and then writing a Weighted GPA policy for her school. She eventually presented her policy proposal to the faculty. There were many obstacles to be overcome that I will not get into as it would take too long. She persisted however. Her initiative eventually took her to being invited by the school board to present her policy, after which there was a public hearing. Her policy was adopted as official policy for our school beginning with the class of 2006. She knew she would never benefit personally from the policy she created but feels good that students like her will in the future.

She has now worked for the past year on developing a homework policy for her school and is now presenting it to the school board, after having done so in front of the faculty with the hope that it will be adopted for future classes before she leaves the high school this June.

Students CAN effect change in their schools. Thought I would share that in order to inspire others who are interested in doing this sort of thing.


By Calimom (Calimom) on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 01:09 pm: Edit

Thank you for sharing, Susan! Congratulations to your daughter for accomplishing so much during high school and for pursuing and enacting change!

By Abz1986 (Abz1986) on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 02:32 pm: Edit

Its topics like these that make me love my school I normally dislike... glad my school doesn't have a messed up ranking system :)

By Mzhang23 (Mzhang23) on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 03:35 pm: Edit

colleges usually recalculate your GPA

By Kd410 (Kd410) on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 05:46 pm: Edit

oh how i wish i was once number 1 seems odd to me how i could be number 1 for 3.5 years and suddenly drop to number 2 when my grades actually improved...oh well thats life...i guess we just have to learn to live with these things....but im not backing working harder than ever to get back to the top though i know that the status will only be with me through the last 2 marking periods of my high school career...then its off to college....whoopee

By Ickyfoo (Ickyfoo) on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 05:55 pm: Edit

Yeah! That's exactly how I feel kd. It makes it so much more painful to know you've been #1 for your entire high school career except for the last semester.

By Peterline (Peterline) on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 06:16 pm: Edit

im 4, im not complaining

By Luxaeterna4 (Luxaeterna4) on Wednesday, March 17, 2004 - 06:23 pm: Edit

it doesnt really matter. at my school its all about APs (and how they calc them into GPA) and it doesnt really determine how smart you are. I've had ten aps... the sal has had six and the third has had five and fourth has four. i know they're all smarter than I am... but unfortunately its just which classes you take. i didnt take the aps with the intent of being vale... but here i am. i'm proud of it and yet not proud at the same time b/c our school uses such a f'ed up system.

By Carolineqs (Carolineqs) on Saturday, March 27, 2004 - 02:58 am: Edit

I like the system at my school. If you have over a 4.0, they drop all A's that aren't weighted and aren't graduation requirements. So band, choir, journalism, etc. doesn't harm you if someone else is an aide. Either way, I win. :-D But they've messed up other stuff... that's messed up 2-10 A LOT. They couldn't decide whether or not to double-AP weight two-period BC Calc and the two-period AP sciences and went back and forth several times, causing a lot of agitation and disappointment. They should be able to pick something and stick with it!

By Mom2003 (Mom2003) on Saturday, March 27, 2004 - 05:26 am: Edit

Ickyfoo, I don't get it. You were no. 1 as long as the no. 2 was taking a sport and not getting the boost AP classes provides in GPA. Then s/he dropped it an had a GPA boost. So the way I read it, you were benefitting because someone else was DISADVANTAGED due to a strange grading system. I don't see why you should complain because they finally figured out the system.

By Soulofheaven8 (Soulofheaven8) on Saturday, March 27, 2004 - 09:51 am: Edit

Sitting pretty at #6, oh well, one less thing to worry about.

By Ickyfoo (Ickyfoo) on Saturday, March 27, 2004 - 12:40 pm: Edit

Mom2003-Both me and #2 had an unwieghted class that was bring down our GPAs. #2 had a sport and I had Academic Decathlon. She dropped the sport and I kept Ac Dec, so her GPA got a boost over mine. We were both equal before, now I'm at a disadvantage.

:) Don't tell me when I can and can't complain.

By Fallentear04 (Fallentear04) on Saturday, March 27, 2004 - 01:29 pm: Edit

I agree with SoCal. Number 3 rocks :-D

By Evrythingonebad (Evrythingonebad) on Saturday, March 27, 2004 - 01:31 pm: Edit

Ickyfoo...drop the Academic Decathlon if you care that much about being #1

By Mom2003 (Mom2003) on Saturday, March 27, 2004 - 01:39 pm: Edit


You have a natural right to complain where and when you like. In this case I even understand the complaint. Ok ... the sympathy taps are open from this side.

By Ickyfoo (Ickyfoo) on Saturday, March 27, 2004 - 02:10 pm: Edit


By Serdu (Serdu) on Saturday, March 27, 2004 - 05:50 pm: Edit

Hey Ickyfoo, it helps you...

I was declared the official Salutatorian of my class yesterday. (I told you guys the whole story, remember?). But anyway, it feels a lot better when people recognize you as the "real" Valedictorian. It sounds like you are. #1 at my school was rejected at both UCLA and UCSD, and the only other school he applied to was UCB, so it loks like JC for him. Even sadder? He's also a URM. HAHA. It's sheer hilarity. So you see, strategic measures and cheating will only get this person at your school so far in life.

HEY I've been meaning to ask you: have you received any notification for the Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards thing? I have not. I think I didn't get and that's cool... I'd just wish they'd have the courtesy to tell me.

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