Do Colleges Look At Senior Grades? | 3 Specifics To Be Aware Of!
So you’re a senior who has either applied to college already (hopefully you’ve not missed the deadline), or you’re thinking of applying. But wait, do colleges look at senior grades? And if so, what will happen to me if I blow off all my classes in the last year of my high school career!?
If you’ve had this thought running through your head at all, you are not alone so don’t panic just yet. While blowing off any classes that you’ve taken in high school is not a good idea, let’s take a look at what the colleges want to see and hopefully put your mind at ease.
Before we begin, take a deep breathe…exhale…good…
Do Colleges Look At Senior Grades?
The short and somewhat simple answer to that question is: Yes and No. Well, it really depends on a few things. That’s about as clear as mud, right? Here are the 3 factors you need to take into consideration if you’ve not worked up to your potential during senior year. You could run a serious risk of being denied admission, even if you’ve already been accepted!
What Is Your Admission Status?
The very first factor pertains to students who’ve already applied for admission to their respective college or university. If you’ve been accepted already, you are in pretty good shape, but you are not out of the woods just yet. Many colleges will want to see what is called a “7th semester transcript”, which will include the first semester grades of your senior year. If you’ve done poorly or even earned an F, you could be in trouble.
Colleges reserve the right to deny an applicant until they’ve seen a final transcript and you enroll in their institution. If they see multiple low grades, this will affect your GPA negatively and may drop you below a point where they are able to admit you as some schools have a “minimum GPA” cutoff. And even if they don’t have a GPA cutoff, it is not wise to show your future college that you have to potential to slack off. They can, and will deny students based off of that!
If you are waitlisted or deferred, you can pretty much guarantee your denial letter if you do poorly during your senior year. This is your time to really impress, so underacheiving when the pressure is on shows the colleges your “true colors”.
What Type of School Did You Apply To?
The next factor that comes into play when asking the question “Do colleges look at senior grades?” is the type of college or university that you’ve applied to. Did you go with the Ivy League or some of the more Highly Selective and Elite colleges like Notre Dame or MIT? If you did, you better maintain your high level of classroom performance because those are the schools that will pick apart every little detail of your transcript, including semester grades and what courses you chose to take.
This is a guarantee: If you earn a D or an F during senior year in any class and expect Ivy League admission, you will be very disappointed.
Even if you’ve applied to some of the “lesser” schools that are still quality institutions (such as the Big Ten or Big 12 colleges), maintaining your grades is a must. They will not always look at your senior year, but why risk it? This is not something you want to leave to chance, as getting accpeted to the college of your dreams is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Do your best work and assume that your college will look at each and every grade.
When Did You Apply?
Lastly, the timing of this whole process is important in determining if colleges will look at your senior grades or not. If you’ve applied before the school’s priority filing deadline, you’ve most likely gotten an acceptance before your senior grades became available. So it’s true: the earlier, the better! The most recent coursework the colleges have seen is your Junior Year at this point.
Although some schools may request your senior grades in a “Midyear Report”, most colleges have made their offer to you by then and as long as your grades are decent, you should be fine. Where a student gets into trouble is if he or she underacheives and the colleges take notice. They will either inquire as to why the grade was so low, (in which case you better have a good reason) or they will simply recind your acceptance and you will be forced to look at other options.
If you’ve applied a little late in the process, there’s a realistic chance that you’ll have to send off your senior grades as part of your high school transcript. Make sure they are accpetable! Remember, applying late is not ideal so do everything in your power to impress the admission representatives. It starts with an impressive senior year in the classroom!
So Do Colleges Look At Senior Grades? Most of them do! Keep in mind that no matter what school you’ve chosen to apply to, and hopefully have gained admisison to, they will need a final high school transcript to make your application complete. Every semester grade you’ve earned in those 4 years will be listed on there and included in your GPA and Class Rank. There is no getting away from that!
If you’ve blown off senior year, cross your fingers and pray that they do not notice a significant drop in performance and deny you admission. And just FYI…IT DOES HAPPEN!
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