Capstone College and Career Advising

No Time for Senioritis

December 30th, 2019 by

Parents, you have probably heard of the malady called senioritis. Back in the day, you may have even come down with a case of it yourself.

You know the symptoms: a lax approach to studying, difficulty finishing projects or getting to class on time, and an overall attitude that could be summed up as “so over it.” Although you may have to accept and excuse some level of this senior-year affliction, there is a time and a place for it. And that time is NOT January of your child’s senior year.

That’s because even though your student may have finished all his or her college applications, and may even have started receiving acceptance letters, there’s still unfinished work to do this semester.

This is most clear to those students who have not yet completed their applications. For many colleges or programs, Feb. 1 is the absolute cutoff. So, finishing any last applications should be the No. 1 priority.

However, even those students who’ve applied everywhere they planned to do not get a free pass to goof off. All universities will require admitted students to submit a final transcript, so they can see how their grades stack up. Some schools also require a mid-year transcript; if you are not sure if any of your schools asked for this, it’s a good idea to go back now and check.

Mid-year transcripts are most important to students who are “on the bubble” – who are not automatic shoo-ins for a certain program or whose request for early admission was deferred to the spring admission cycle. But keeping grades up is important for every student. Maintaining grades can matter when it comes to scholarship selection. And, although it’s rare for schools to take this step, they do reserve the right to rescind admission if a student posts declining grades or gets into disciplinary trouble after the college admissions application has been submitted.

Staying focused is crucial for students who haven’t gotten any acceptance letters yet, or who have been accepted to schools fairly low on their priority list and are hoping for others. This is the time seniors can “make their case” to admissions officers.

Log in occasionally to your application accounts at your top schools, to make sure you haven’t forgotten any follow-up tasks. Engage with the social media programs at your favorite schools; like or comment on the school’s posts or retweet interesting news articles. If you win an award or get selected to an all-state team, notify your college admissions representative or the admission office. These tasks don’t take much time, but they might make a difference, especially with competitive programs.

Finally, it’s just a good idea in general for students to stay in the habit of working hard and doing their  best. Next fall is going to be challenging, no matter where you end up going to school. Students who start slacking off now may develop sloppy habits or lose academic momentum, when they should be continuing to learn and grow in preparation for next fall’s big adventure.