Lenape Regional HS ditches class rankings in effort to help relieve stress among students

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A large Burlington County school district is ditching class rankings after years of studying how it affects a student’s mental health and acceptance into college.

“I think rank puts some unnecessary stress on students,” says Stockton University chief enrollment management officer Robert Heinrich.

The Lenape Regional High School District will get rid of the class rankings beginning with next year’s freshman class. School officials say that they are doing it for many reasons – stress being one of them.

Heinrich says that schools across the country have been getting rid of rankings and that colleges and universities are looking at rankings less.

“For the past few years we've really been putting less emphasis on class rank,” he says. “In fact, we've removed rank completely for consideration when it comes to merit-based academic scholarships."

The Lenape Regional district has four high schools. School officials surveyed 90 colleges to see if class rank was required for admission – most said that it was not. Rutgers Camden and Rowan University also do not require rankings.

Many of the schools said that they were more focused on the applicant as a whole.

“So, when we’re considering an applicant for acceptance to the university, we really do a holistic review – and what I mean by that is, we’re considering the transcript as primary, but then we also look at their essay, their letters of recommendation, as well as any extracurricular activities that they were involved in,” Heinrich says.

Heinrich says that students should get involved in clubs, organizations or sports – in addition to their studies – to make themselves a better candidate for a particular college.

Lenape Regional officials also said that another reason for the change was that they found students were choosing their classes based on how it would influence their class rank. The class of 2024 will be the first class to graduate under the new policy.

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