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Through our very own editors and guest writers, this blog will discuss the INSIDE scoop on the admissions process of various schools and programs. If you wish to ask a specific question, please write to us, and we will make every attempt to address your questions in our future blog discussions.
Sunday, January 13, 2013
Common Cure for Senioritis
Back when I was applying to college, there was a well-known understanding about the second half of your high school senior year. All you really had to do was show up to class and keep your eyes open. Once you'd been admitted to your dream college, your only remaining duty was to warm a chair.

Even in those days, universities threatened to rescind offers of admission from students whose academics fell apart during the second half of their senior year. But that seemed like folklore. The reality was that, if you were a strong enough student to get into a good university, you probably weren't the type to suddenly flunk out of school-senioritis or not. Like most things having to do with college admission, things have changed. Universities are now keeping a keen eye on the second half of the school year. One of the many components of the Common Application is the Mid-Year Report, which must be filled out and submitted by a student's high school guidance counselor.

Obviously, the Mid-Year Report is looking for precipitous drops in GPA. They want to hear about any new disciplinary or criminal actions involving the student-applicant. However, what may be surprising to an outsider is just how much emphasis is placed upon comparing students to their classmates. The report is meticulous in its efforts to measure a student's class ranking against their peers.

This is fair, really. It's a bit like grading on a curve. If you are one of many academically strong students, your ranking may not matter as much. Conversely, if your school doesn't have a terribly rigorous curriculum, your 4.0 doesn't carry as much weight. These things are all major considerations in the initial admissions evaluation. The Mid-Year Report serves as a reminder of just how much they count during that last semester.

So as you seniors head into the downhill slope of your high school career this January, don't take your eyes off the road. Not just yet.


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