In 1997 Texas legislature adopted the top 10% rule instead of affirmative action policies so that students in the top 10% of their high school class are automatically admitted to college (the threshold now for UT Austin is the top 6%.) See below from this ScienceDirect study
This admissions policy sought to exploit the existing racial and ethnic segregation between high schools in the state to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of students admitted to four-year public institutions without explicitly incorporating a student's race and ethnicity into admissions decisions.
Still, it is a process to increase the diversity of students based on a broader high school pool (rural, under-resourced) in flagship state universities without relying on a box checked based on race. This study identifies the policy improved the pool of high schools from which freshman rosters are derived as opposed to the color of their skin.
Other schools, particularly larger state flagship universities that must cull through thousands of applications, might also not publicize but follow this model, and more might in the future with the recent Supreme Court Decision. The screenshot below shows which schools’ state flagship universities consider class rank very important or important based on their 2022 common data set – other schools could follow this lead during this upcoming application cycle.
Therefore, we can't stress enough the importance of each student understanding their high school ranks – whether weighted or unweighted- and ensuring the class rank is updated in the common application education section, the SRAR, and the resume. If a student has transferred schools, they must understand the school's policy for providing class rank on a limited number of semesters. Schools will vary. Additionally, if a school does not officially class rank, consider asking the guidance counselor for an unofficial rank and to self-report that rank in their application.
Using all the tools in a student's arsenal is always recommended, class rank is sometimes an item that can be overlooked if a student is not diligent in tracking that information down from their high school.