You’ve been admitted early to your dream school – now what?
As you head back to school in the new year, you have that telltale spring in your step. Admitted last month to your dream school in the early admissions round, your December holiday break was a time to reflect on all your hard work and share the wonderful news with friends and family.
Now’s the time to put high school in a lower gear and cruise to graduation, right?
The rest of senior year is just as important to colleges as the first three and a half years. Remember, colleges can (and sometimes will) change their minds and rescind an offer of admission if a student’s grades drop too far or integrity issues (academic or personal) come to light.
So, keep that happy feeling, stay on track, and enjoy your senior spring!
AVOIDING THE SENIOR YEAR SLOW-DOWN
Keep Senioritis at Bay
It’s so tempting to blow off your homework or skip studying for exams, but don’t slack off now. Colleges reserve the right to rescind an offer of admission if a student’s academic record differs significantly from the level at the time admission was offered. Remember, your college will receive your Mid-Year Grade Report (usually at the end of the first semester or second trimester, depending on the high school calendar). As part of the mid-year report, counselors are asked specifically to comment on any deviation from the level of achievement noted in your Secondary School Report. Admissions officers will review these mid-year reports, looking for evidence of continued academic excellence. If things start to go south, that could be a problem. Schools may send letters of warning if they see a bunch of grades drop to C or any grade lower than a C. You can expect to have to explain what happened…and that the admissions office will flag your file for later review.
If you think you just need to get past the mid-year in good shape, you’d be wrong again. Admissions offices will also receive your Final Grade Report, with your final grades for senior year. Again, admissions officers will take a close look at the final report, so senior year is not the time to slack off.
Character Always Counts
Your teachers and counselors wrote glowing letters of recommendation, speaking to your academic accomplishments, extracurricular impact, and the positive contributions you have made to your school and communities. Major ethical infractions that come to light now—even though you have been admitted—will prompt a reopening of your admissions file and could lead to your offer being rescinded if the infraction is very serious. So, what is serious, you ask? It varies from school to school, but anything that gets you arrested or an academic or personal integrity issue that gets you suspended would be taken very seriously.
Continue to make a positive impact through your activities and interests. Without the pressure and stress of college applications, look for ways where you can give more to those organizations that you are a part of. Why not use your ‘found time’ to pay it forward? Volunteer time for a cause you believe in and make a difference in your community. We guarantee that your time and talents will be greatly appreciated.
While you enjoy your last year of high school, remember that character always counts. Reports of students’ questionable actions and behavior as documented on social media could easily end up on the desk of the admissions dean. Time and again, we see examples of someone’s social media profile coming back to haunt them. Don’t let this happen to you.
Consider a Gap Year
Use time this spring to consider the idea of a gap year and the opportunity that presents in terms of recharging your batteries and gaining valuable experience and perspective. Since colleges usually give students until June 30th to request to postpone their matriculation for a year, now’s the perfect time to start planning a gap year. From work to travel to service to learning new skills, pretty much anything goes on your gap year (except enrolling in another college in for-credit courses).
Connect With New Classmates
From Facebook groups to admitted student days, enjoy getting to know the students who will form the members of your college class. Also, read the campus paper and check their official news site to stay up to date on news and opportunities that you’ll want to take advantage of after you enroll.
Say Thank You
Be sure to stop by your college counseling office and say thank you to your counselor and the staff members who made sure that your transcripts and recommendations were submitted to your top choice school. Some homemade cookies wouldn’t hurt either! Also, make a special point to personally thank the teachers who wrote your letters of recommendation. Teachers have so much on their plates each year and use their personal time to write letters on their students’ behalf. Let’s face it, without glowing teacher and counselor recommendations, students would not be admitted.
Congratulations again on a wonderful achievement! Now, finish up strong, plan a wonderful summer (no test prep!), and prepare to embark on another exciting four-year journey!