It’s your senior year. Time to let loose. SAT’s are just about behind you, college applications are almost completed and you want to have some fun. Drop the party ball and break-out the chex mix! Well, not so fast. For all of those who have a severe case of senioritis, beware. Senior year matters and here is some advice.
Colleges can rescind your admittance. The reasons for withdrawal can range from issues relating to integrity, behavior and grades. Yes, grades count! Even if you are granted early decision prior to the first term ending, admissions will want your grades from your first semester. Highly selective colleges often do not admit students until March or April. Your grades at that point will matter as well.
Acceptance to the college of your choice can hinge upon your senior year. Colleges are looking for the same level of consistent performance your senior as your other years. You must select challenging courses and demonstrate achievement in them as well. Colleges want to see commitment to finishing what was started. A sharp decline in grades indicates immaturity and the inability to stay focused.
Take as many high level courses as possible in selected major. If you are pursuing science, do not drop AP physics or AP organic chemistry your senior year for astronomy. Demonstrate your strengths, skills and passions for the subjects you want to pursue. Show you can be challenged and excel. It will matter.
Money matters. College is a huge financial commitment. Financial aid, scholarships and grants are often based on your entire high school transcript. That includes your senior year. The market for aid is competitive. Don’t think your senior year doesn't matter. They will look at your transcripts when evaluating year to year.
Prioritize your senior year. This is difficult as you are busy with fall SAT’s, ACT’s and college applications. However, your primary responsibility is to show up for class, study and excel in those courses. Also, do not drop the extracurricular activities. Stay focused, stay involved and stay out of trouble. Your college applications will not matter if you disregard your senior year.
Senior year can be overwhelming and it’s natural to have a tendency to want to slack-off for your years of hard work. Don’t fall prey to the rumors that senior year doesn't matter. Don’t load your schedule with keyboarding, ceramics and family consumer science courses. Stay focused, disciplined and organized. If you managed this throughout high school, then senior year should be no different. You can work hard and play hard. Make senior year matter. The rewards will be great.