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Boston College to No Longer Publish Undergraduate Class Rank

The Class of 2022 will be the last undergraduate class at Boston College to receive a final class rank, according to Akua Sarr, vice provost for undergraduate academic affairs.

“In consultation with the Academic Officers Council and the Council of Deans, the University decided to discontinue the reporting of class rank after this year’s graduating class,” Sarr said.

The University’s current class-rank system assigns each student a number based on academic standing in comparison to other students in their class within each school, according to Sarr.

“Most of Boston College’s peer institutions do not report class rank, and employers/graduate schools evaluate grade point average and rigor of academic program [themselves],” Sarr said.

Victoria Newell, CSOM ’22, said that while she does not think class rank “holds much weight,” it can be useful for students who earn a high rank.

“I think it’s nice for people who have a 4.0 GPA to talk about and put on a resume, but other than that, I didn’t find it that beneficial or helpful, so it wasn’t really a big deal to me,” she said.

Grades are not necessarily reflective of intelligence, Newell said, so class rank is not an effective way to measure a student’s success.

“Testing isn’t necessarily an accurate reflection of how smart [people] are or employable they are,” she said. “I feel like, at least in CSOM, grades can … be a bit of a fluke, so I don’t think class rank and GPA are the best way to [measure] someone’s intelligence.”

According to Henry Miller, MCAS ’24, students who do not earn a high ranking should avoid sharing their rank with prospective employers.

“Unless your employer requires you to give your class rank or … a grad school requires you to do that, then [not sharing] it could only be something that would benefit you,” Miller said.

Miller said he was unsure why BC did not publicly announce that it would stop publishing class rank.

“It’d be helpful to know if like, ‘Oh, we took it away because of this,’” he said.

Ultimately, Newell said she is happy that BC stopped sharing class rank with students.

“I think it promotes toxic competitiveness, which I think is already kind of an issue, and just like the secrecy of how people rank and compare to each other,” she said. “So I think it’s a good thing, but it hasn’t impacted my life that much.”

Maddy Lee, MCAS ’24, also said class rank can become “toxic.”

“I feel like it could be kind of destructive to people’s mental health and it could create more competition between BC students, which isn’t really needed,” she said.

Though she does not pay close attention to her own class rank, Lee said she supports BC’s decision to remove class rank.

May 9, 2022
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