Many students think that because they have worked so hard throughout high school, they have earned the right to slack off second semester of senior year. Midyear grades are being sent to colleges, and some students have already been accepted at their favorite school. Why not kick back and enjoy life?
But an offer of admission is conditional, and students are expected to maintain their academic performance throughout senior year. Every year, colleges around the country rescind admission offers.
You are admitted to a college based on the information in your application, and if there are any changes, you need to let the college know. If you have dropped a class that was listed on the application you submitted to colleges, your application has changed. Colleges receive your final transcript during the summer, and you don’t want to find out in July that you no longer have a place in the freshman class.
It is much better to be honest and explain why you dropped the class or why your grades have gone down. If the drop in academic performance is severe enough to jeopardize your acceptance, admission officers may be able to advise you on how to salvage your admission.
There’s another reason to keep working hard in school. It makes the transition to college-level work easier. That’s one of the advantages of taking AP courses, which require a high level of commitment throughout senior year in order to prepare for AP exams in May. The anti-slacker curriculum built into AP classes will help you adjust to college more easily.
If you start procrastinating during senior year, it’s difficult to get back to good study habits when you arrive at college, where there will be lots of distractions and no parents reminding you to finish your history paper before you go out for pizza with your friends.
While you do need to keep your grades up, making sure you have some fun during the second half of senior year will help you avoid burnout. Just don’t go overboard quite yet. Summer is only a few months away, and you will have plenty of time to play before you go off to college.
It’s not just lower grades that can torpedo an offer of admission. While spray painting the school gym might seem like a fun prank, a disciplinary issue can also be the end of your college acceptance.
Parents who have suffered through the long college admission process may not be thrilled when their child takes part in “senior ditch day.” But as long as a student is doing her work and keeping her grades up, there’s no reason to panic. The last few months of senior year can be tedious, and it’s understandable that students aren’t as motivated as they were earlier in their high school career. Remember that students who keep senioritis under control will get their reward when they embark on the great adventure of college, in just a few months.