The term “quin tile” refers to one-fifth of a particular group. Quin tile 1 typically means the top one-fifth of the group, quin tile 2 refers to the second fifth and so on down to quin tile 5, the lowest group. In education, a quin tile rank may apply to ideas such as student grades or program effectiveness, ranking people or ideas to give a clear idea of their relationships to each other and to indicate the top performers.
Educators and educational institutions use quin tile rankings in various ways. For example, at Pennsylvania State University, admissions representatives use high school quin tile rankings as one factor in choosing which applicants to admit. Some schools, such as Princeton, make quin tile rankings available to students to give them another indication of their academic progress and standing. Some schools also use quin tile ranking to indicate top achievers. For instance, the law school within the University of Hawaii at Manga figures student ranking using quin tiles based on GPA, which students may list on their resumes. Some schools, such as the University of Alaska Anchorage, also use quin tile ranking to determine which programs within the university deserve more support and which might need to be eliminated.