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How and Why to Avoid Senioritis at All Costs

You’ve been accepted to your dream school, put in your tuition and housing deposits, and even visited the campus. Maybe you look at the university’s website every day, dreaming of next fall. You are beyond excited.

You’ve also allowed the senioritis to creep in—you haven’t continued to finish all of your homework or studied hard enough for your assessments because you think the work is all behind you.

And then, you get this letter:

Dear (Your name),

Unfortunately, after we received an update about your current grades from your school counselor, we must advise your admission to our university is conditional on the improvement of your grades. If we deem your final semester’s grades too low, we will rescind our offer of admission.

Thank you,

Admissions Office of your Dream College

You DO NOT want to receive this letter!

It is a student’s and family’s worst nightmare. Colleges can request an update from your counselor or rescind an offer of acceptance after they receive your final transcript from your high school. They’ll expect you to maintain a similar GPA to that with which you applied, so if your GPA was a 3.8, you can’t finish your final semester of high school with a 3.0 without risking the possibility of your application being rescinded.

Another reason to keep focused and avoid succumbing to senioritis is that you might be waitlisted at one university or another. It is common for these schools to ask for your final grades and updates from your last semester of high school, which could determine your being accepted off the waitlist or not. 

It can be very easy to feel like your current classes do not matter, but they absolutely do. I continue to talk with my current seniors about this exact scenario frequently because being rejected from a college hurts, but losing your acceptance because you didn’t keep up with your homework and study for your exams is heartbreaking. You did all of the hard work to get your acceptance, and in one short letter, the euphoria is changed to complete despair. 

Keep the following in mind so that this isn’t you:

Stay focused on your goal. Understand colleges expect you to keep your GPA near what you applied with and can change their decision from acceptance to rejection if you do not maintain the strong academic success shown throughout your previous four years. Congratulate yourself on your hard work thus far and remind yourself that finishing strong will feel even better.

Just say NO to senioritis. If you fall behind in your classes, reach out and talk to your teachers immediately to get the help you need. Please do not wait for when it might be too late. Your support system wants nothing more than for you to succeed.

You don’t want to miss your chance at your next four years at your dream university, so keep those grades up; you only have a few more months. You got this!