High School 2 College

May 11, 2009

You Think You’ve Been Accepted to College? It’s Not Over Yet!

You wooed them.  They flirted back with glossy pamphlets and flattery.  You’ve proposed, they’ve accepted, and you expect to walk arm and arm happily into the sunset — just you and the school of your dreams.  Now that you’ve said “I do,” all you have to do is put that sticker on the back of your car, and you and your school will build a 4-year relationship together.

Not so fast.

A few years ago, the New York Times printed this article warning kids not to let their grades slip too far in senior year:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/22/education/edlife/rescind22.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=slackers%20beware&st=cse

It warns “slackers” that colleges will and regularly do pull offers of admittance if a student’s grades slip too much.  You have to submit your year-end grades to the school you’ve chosen, and if the college doesn’t like what it sees, it has a long waiting list of eager students still batting their eyelashes at your school.

I believe the New York Times.  Most of the colleges they referenced were large state schools (the kind with affordable tuition) who have too many students to care if you fill that last dorm room or another student does, one more serious about learning and schooling whose grades not only didn’t drop but might have even improved over the past few months. 

This year, schools — even the smaller private colleges — are more skittish than ever for an obvious reason — the economy.  Here’s the latest version of the same warning, this time from USA Today:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2009-05-06-senioritis-college_N.htm

This article points out that colleges were so worried about the economy this past admissions season that many accepted more students than usual with the expectation that some would not be able to afford school and would drop out.  If that doesn’t happen, schools may be culling their admitted student lists for those who just don’t measure up.

Their advice is good:  if your grades start to drop, do something! 

  • Talk to your high school teachers about extra credit.  Offer to do anything to raise your grade.
  • Talk to your guidance counselors about strategies to pull it out now.  If they know you’re trying, they may be willing to go to bat for you with the college if they pull your acceptance.
  • Get a tutor for finals or state exams.  Don’t wait – if you need to pass that math or physics regents exam, get a tutor.  It’s not a long-term commitment, and the money you spend now may save heartache and embarrassment later. 
  • Contact the admissions department with a contrite explanation and a promise to do better.  Tell them BEFORE they get the bad news to show you’re responsible and willing to correct your missteps.
  • Get off facebook.  Recent studies have shown that FB users in college have grades a full GPA point below non-users.  (read this TIME magazine article: http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1891111,00.html?xid=newsletter-daily )

The weather is warm, the prom is coming, and English is boring, but keep it up for just a little longer.  It’s hard to get that sticker off your car window!

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