Students need not dread the academic history section of their ACES account—class ranking will no longer be displayed.
The rankings will be eliminated for both Trinity College of Arts and Sciences and the Pratt School of Engineering.
“Whether they want to know it or not, it stares them in the eye,” said Lee Baker, Trinity dean of academic affairs and associate vice provost for undergraduate education. “For certain students, it’s a great feeling of empowerment, but for some it’s frustrating or demoralizing.”
Baker noted that it was not necessarily reasonable to have one ranking of all Trinity students—comparing those majoring in the physical sciences, mathematics and related fields to students from the humanities or social sciences.
He added that the system has possible adverse effects on both students with low ranks and those with high ones. Because so many students are bunched near the top—especially early in their Duke careers—the rankings can be misleading due to ties.
No one can recall precisely when or how the class rank system was established, Baker said.
“No one knows why we even do it,” Baker said.
If a student wants or needs to know their class position, they will be able request their percentile standing.
“We don’t need to be in the ranking business,” Baker said.