Admissions and your academic record part II


The most important year in your academic record is your junior year. Why? When reviewing your transcripts, it’s the last complete year that admissions officers see. They also look more closely, if they have it, at any senior records, and then sophomore, and then freshmen. They look closely at trends, whether your grades went up or down (up is better). Translation – even if your freshmen and sophomore years weren’t where you’d have liked them to be, pour it on in junior and senior year and you can still have a big impact on where you get admitted.

Important note – your work is NOT over once you get admitted. Admission is always conditional on your completing your work at the same level (or better). Colleges will look at your final high school grades, and can ask questions or even revoke your admission if there are problems. Last year I revoked admission for more than 20 students…DON’T fall victim to senioritis!!! That doesn’t mean you can’t slip at all, but please keep your partying within limits that your grades can handle until you have that diploma in hand.

Be seeing you!

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15 Responses

  1. I am very concerned about my admissions. I received a D in AP calculus last semester, and this semester im not doing well. I am taking 5 AP courses (calculus included). I have A’s in all my other AP classes, and I’m afraid that my admissions might be revoked because of my one D. Under a conditionally admitted applicant, I am required to get a C or better in all my planned or in progress courses. I am trying really hard in calculus, but my teacher is really strict and picky. I have an A in my AP Statistics class, if that helps. I would appreciate your opinion about my situation. Thank you.

  2. Jason, it really depends on the institution. We generally send a warning before taking any action and ask for an explanation. In the case of grades as strong as yours in the other areas, we’d encourage you to bring up the D, and if that doesn’t happen might ask you to take an additional course over the summer (possibly at community college). I have heard there are schools that are sticklers for these rules, but generally most places want to work things out for talented admitted students that are genuinely trying.

    I also have admitted students whose grades drop across the board and it appears to us that they have just stopped working at all. In those cases we’re more likely to take a stricter approach.

  3. like Jason, I also have a question about grades and its effect on college aps. For the first semester of my junior year, I got two B (B and B+), three A, and a C+ in my AP english class. Not that I slacked off but I really struggled with inclass essays. Meanwhile, i was on the borderlines for the rest of my classes (mainly AP and honors). Will this affect my chances of getting into a good college dramatically?

  4. It’s true that lower grades will hurt you at some schools, but in the big picture there are PLENTY of schools where you will still be a very strong candidate, and there’s no chance that any one bad grade will impact your chances of success in the long run.

  5. My sophomore daughter is considering graduating from high school in 3 years. We met with her counselor and it is possilbe to complete the required coursework and required classes for most universities during the course of next year.
    She is currently in the 80% percentile in her class with a weighted GPA of 3.6 and has taken some honors and AP classes.
    My concerns are how will she be evaluated by college admissions counselors? She would most likely be applying to large out of state universities with rolling admission decisions.

  6. I am always hearing that colleges expect admitted students to maintain they’re grades and that they don’t want to see any significant drops in any marks. What I am wondering is, what exactly is considered a significant drop? I was admitted to UofM and my gpa was a 3.9. In the first semester of my senior year I got A’s and B’s. For the second semester I’m expecting the same except most likely a C in AP English. Will this have any effect on my admissions??

  7. It’s unlikely that a drop in one class that keeps you in the C or above range will make much of a difference. At worst, you might get contacted by the school asking for an explanation. When I have contacted students it”s usually that they have had a significant drop, now showing D’s or F’s on their record, or dropping full letter grades in multiple classes. I might be more inclined to contact a smaller drop if the student was already on the borderline of our admission pool, but for the most part you have to screw up pretty badly to merit an institution revoking an admission decision.

  8. Im a junior in high school and I have some concern about getting into a college of my choice. My grades have slipped considerably in this year beacuse I have’nt really been focused on my grades. I have slippd from a B+ average to basically a D. Do you think I still have a chance at getting into a college of my choice?

  9. That’s a signficant drop. You always have a chance, but you have definitely picked a lousy time to send your focus elsewhere, as junior year is the most heavily weighted period in your academic record for the admissions process. Three things to do:
    1) do a LOT better in your senior year, especially early
    2) have a GOOD explanation (I just decided to blow it off probably isn’t the way to go) and explain how you are past it, and encourage the admissions committee to hold off on a decision until you have some senior grades
    3) consider a start at a commuity college. If you senior grades are as good as your freshmen and sophomore grades you should be able to transfer in a fairly short period of time, assuming you do well at the college.
    Good luck – and find ways to get that focus back!

  10. I am in the last semester of my senior year. The first semester I did farly well with a 3.5 gpa with many AP classes and Honors classes.
    But the 2nd Semester I am doing ok but worst case senario I will have 2 C’s, 1 B and 1 A which comes out to being a 2.8 GPA.
    Best case scenario would be 2 C’s and 2 A which is a 3.2 GPA for the semester.

    In the past semesters and years I was strong student with 3.8 and close and keeping a cumulative of 3.57 GPA with sports and extra events.

    I am going to a state school that requires a 3.0 GPA acceptance, obviously I am higher then that by a lot.

    I am just scared that my university might reject me for recieving the 2.8 GPA this semester. Do you think they will do that?

  11. It’s unlikely they’ll reject you if they accept students down to a 3.0, but just in case you might want to go ahead and let them know you’re having a tough semester. Be up front with the admissions office and let them know that you realize this wasn’t your best work, and that you know how to focus and do better as evidenced by your prior grades. Unless they are feeling really mean (or are overloaded) they’ll most likely let you off with a warning not to screw up that way any more.

    There are schools that are REALLY hard nosed about seeing your grades drop, but generally they will have a significantly higher admission standards. Also, if one of those C’s drops to a D or F, you might have to do some more significant explanation and possibly plead a little.

  12. What do you mean by let them know? I was thinking that if they were to contact me than I would say I was sorry and with all the AP tests, sports, and volunteering I couldnt maintain my usual grade point.

    Or should I apologize and plead before they even recieve my final transcript?

  13. I would call the admissions office and ask to speak with the admission counsellor that reads applications for your high school, or they may just match you up with whatever admissions officer is on duty that day. Either way, I’d be honest and up front that you’re dissapointed in your performance, wanted them to be aware that you are addressing it and will be working hard to make sure you do well when you come to their school. You might mention having overloaded, but I wouldn’t get into specifics, just that you’ve learned the valuable lesson that you need to go back to focusing on your grades. This way if there is going to be a problem (which I think is very unlikely) you’ll have time to file any needed appeals to get your situation clarified.

  14. has anyone successfully ‘explained’ a bad grade on a college application or to an admissions officer even thought there’s no really good explanation? if so, how did you do it and what was their response?

  15. Question, i have a B+ for my junior semester grade in english, is it possible for me to bring my 3.9 GPA up by doing AP classes my senior year or am i dreaming?

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