Many students approach their senior year with great enthusiasm and excitement; more specifically, with the misconception that the twelfth grade is sort of a vacation from the rigors of high school. "Good thing junior year is over with...now I'm finished". Not so fast, kids...if college is in your plans, then you're not quite through with high school just yet.
The truth is that colleges take a very close look at what happens to applicants in the twelfth grade. What classes are you taking? Are you taking a fourth year of math or science? Any AP or college courses? How are your senior year grades?? These are the questions each college you apply to will investigate, and this information will help them decide whether or not to accept you. In other words, YES, YOUR SENIOR YEAR GRADES STILL COUNT! Most colleges will wait to make a decision about you until they have seen your first semester senior year grades, and will require that you provide them with your final transcript upon graduation in June. A college or university's offer of acceptance is conditional; if your grades drop in February or June, they can take back their offer.
Keep in mind that you aren't taking a full senior year courseload just to impress college admissions officers; you are preparing yourself for college, where the work will be much more difficult than in high school. That fourth year of math may give you the background you need to get through your freshman year.
While you will still have school work to contend with in your senior year, you will also complete your college and financial aid applications. Check out the docs below for the senior year timeline or copies of any related presentation materials, and don't forget to keep a close eye on our College Office Google calendar this fall. Most seniors spend their fall semester finalizing the list of colleges they will apply to, finishing their college essays, completing and sending out their college applications, and applying for scholarships. The financial aid application process typically begins in January.
I'M A SENIOR, NOW WHAT?
SHOULD I BE WORRIED?
Never fear, however; while your senior year is indeed much busier than you may have first suspected, there is much to be excited about. You will soon be starting the next chapter of your life, and enjoying your last year of high school with your family, friends and teachers. You'll have plenty of room for fun in your senior year...just stay focused and try not to forget why you went to high school in the first place.
WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING?
Check out the Senior Planning Timeline and a few of the resources below to ensure that your taking all the right steps on your path to college during your senior year.