Home School Class Rank
Many homeschoolers frequently ask whether they will be hurt by not having a class rank. Because the class rank is only one piece of information admissions officers examine, and many high schools don’t publish their class rankings, your child will not be adversely affected by not having a class rank. If their transcript is filled with strong test scores, some college credits, and extracurricular activities, they will easily outshine many of their peers. Admissions officers are more likely to look at other criteria when examining transcripts of homeschooled students, because they can’t use home school class rank as a determining factor.
As mentioned above, it helps that many schools are actually doing away with class rankings. In fact, the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) notes that about half of all high schools no longer report student rankings. Many schools have eliminated class rankings because they often penalize students who aren’t ranked in the top 10 percent of their class but who likely are still high-achieving students. Generally, only large state universities still look at class rankings simply because they need a way of weeding through the vast majority of applications they receive. Overall, though, your child is still likely to look like an impressive candidate through the rest of their achievements and a strong personal essay and interview.
Princeton University is one of many schools that provides homeschoolers with tips on the application process. Their website states: “There may be questions that simply don’t apply in the case of a homeschooled student (for instance, our question about class rank on the School Report). You and others completing forms on your behalf may leave those questions blank.” The site also mentions that students should be encouraged to elaborate on any sections of the application where they feel their individual experience may vary from a traditional student.
The fact that your child has a uniquely different schooling experience should literally make this section of his or her application a proverbial slam dunk. So your goal should be to convince the schools that home school class rank should carry no weight and then stress the many ways the homeschool experience can richly contribute to the diversity of the college campus.