This happens to seniors every year:
- accepted to college
- submitted your deposit
- your fate is sealed, it’s senior year, and the hectic college admission process has come to an end
- many seniors are tempted to think that it is finally time to relax
Be careful. Senioritis, that attitude where there is no reason to worry about grades and activities, is real — and it is dangerous.
Here are some reasons to avoid senioritis:
- Your Admission Offer May Be Rescinded
Somewhere in all those college admission letters, after the “congratulations’’ part, is a sentence to the effect that admission is conditional upon the student completing high school with the same academic and personal achievement on which the offer was based. And they mean it. Each year, colleges rescind offers to students whose grades plummeted after they were admitted. Generally, one stray C won’t have serious repercussions. But make it a couple of D’s on a transcript that had been crammed with A’ s and B’s and there may be trouble.
- Your College Is Watching You
Colleges require final grades for accepted students. Many students believe that only the first half of senior year “counts.” Not true. Many carefully review the senior-year progress of admitted students and require midterm and final grades to be sent to the office of admission.
- If You Were on Honor Roll When You Got In, You May Be Expected to Stay There
Colleges expect students to continue with their current course schedule and maintain the level of academic and personal success demonstrated in the application. Colleges look to the application, especially the transcript, to determine if students are an appropriate academic match for the college — and vice versa.
- You May Have to Explain Why You Slacked Off
Far more common than revocation of admission is a warning letter, expressing disappointment and asking for an explanation.
For student admitted to Texas Christian University, a notice informally known as the “fear of God letter” will read something like this:
We recently received your final high school transcript. While your overall academic background continues to demonstrate the potential for success, we are concerned with your performance during the senior year, particularly in calculus. University studies are rigorous and we need to know that you are prepared to meet T.C.U.’s academic challenges. With this in mind, I ask that you submit to me, as soon as possible but no later than July 31, 2012, a written statement detailing the reasons surrounding your senior year performance.
Joe, please understand that your admission to T.C.U. is in jeopardy. If I do not hear from you by the above date, I will assume you are no longer interested in T.C.U. and will begin the process of rescinding your admission.
Please realize that your personal and academic successes are very important to us. I look forward to hearing from you.
Raymond A. Brown
- You May Have to Start Your College Search Over Again
Bad grades are not the only possible pitfall. Some students lose their admission offers because of plagiarism, cheating, drunken misbehavior or arrest.
- Senior Year Should Help You Transition to College
Colleges are typically tight-knit communities that require honesty and mature behavior. While we understand that unavoidable circumstances may arise that can influence a student’s academic performance, poor behavior resulting in disciplinary action by a high school is inexcusable.
- Admission Officers Would Rather Not Target You
One of the hardest things for an admissions officer has to do is send a letter asking for an explanation why results suffered at the end of the school year.
If a student’s motivation to do well in high school was to “get in,” and subsequently the student is not truly engaged in learning for the entire year, college is going to be a miserable experience. Students should consider carefully why they actually want to go to college. If a student is seeking freedom and adventure, there are many other, better, routes to that goal. If a student is seeking future “financial security,” consider carefully whether the cost and school loans are really likely to be worth it. Electricians make more than many middle managers. Remember that a huger percentage of students who start college don’t finish. “Senioritis” is one sign that you may be among that group.