College Applications how much do Senior Year Grades Matter

You’ve worked hard through your high school years to keep up a high GPA and took heed of all the recommended suggestions to be accepted to your college of choice. It’s paid off. You’ve probably heard from many people it’s OK to take it easy now and even “slack off” because your senior year grades don’t matter.

Contrary to popular belief, senior grades do matter. Your final grades will be of importance to your prospective college’s admissions office, even if you’ve already been tentatively accepted. It’s a good idea to continue to strive for good grades since the college will be following up on your application to take a look at a myriad of items such as your final grades, GPA, SAT scores, class ranking and extra-curricular activities.

This isn’t to say you have to continue to burn the midnight oil, especially since there is plenty of time for that in college. There’s nothing wrong with taking some time to relax a little since by now you’re undoubtedly exhausted from the PSATs, SATs, college applications, interviews and essay writing, but it’s not a great idea to slack off too much. If your college sees grades plummet, this will reflect negatively on your application. The sudden slump in grades might be perceived as a questionable commitment and demonstrate a lack of responsible behavior.

Colleges want to recruit students who will prove to be an asset and a positive reflection on campus. If you show yourself to be a student who doesn’t continue to go the distance after a goal has been reached, this may make your profile less attractive. An accepted application doesn’t mean that the admittance offer can’t be withdrawn; many colleges reserve the right to rescind offers of acceptance. Does this mean if your grades drop you’ll lose your acceptance? No, not necessarily, usually grades have to seriously take a dive for an offer to be rescinded, but the risk is there. Why take that chance?

Senior year is the time to prepare yourself for college and get ready for the adventurous journey you’re about to venture upon. Continuing to make an effort to work to your fullest potential reflects well on your final application package, and illustrates the serious student you are. Staying active and driven will keep you on the ball in preparation for bigger and better challenges.

If anything, working diligently throughout senior year is also a good idea for your own benefit. College is a huge adjustment and you want to prepare and position yourself to be able to succeed. You’ve worked hard to get to this point, and you don’t want to lose the opportunity you’ve strived so hard for. Keeping up to par with your previous commitment to excellence is important, for your student profile and also to keep you in sync with the challenging work you’re about to receive when you start your first semester. You can think of it as “practice” for your college career, and if you continue to work conscientiously, the transition will be much easier.

There’s nothing wrong with engaging in a bit of fun and enjoying your senior year, as long as you don’t fall victim to falling deep within the abyss of “senioritis” because if you fall too far it may be difficult to pull yourself out. A successful senior year springboards you to meet the challenges college presents.

College Board, , retrieved November 2007