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Fall Semester For High School Seniors Can Be Tricky: How To Stay Motivated

Wed, Sep 19, 2012 @ 02:24 PM

Beat the Fall Semester Limbo

With application deadlines and standardized test dates looming, mAutumn Schoolost high school seniors are living and breathing college admissions right now. From essays to recommendation letters, college apps can consume a rising senior, and leave little time for anything else.  

Fall semester is tricky in that it puts high school seniors in an awkward limbo. Grades are still important, even though most applications, especially early decision apps, will be submitted before final semester grades, and even mid-term grades, are available. Any new activities or projects, or updates on ongoing extracurriculars, are put on a resume that some admissions officers won’t even get a chance to look at right away.  

But just because it feels like colleges don’t get to immediately look at the accomplishments you’ve made during your senior year doesn’t mean you should catch a case of “senioritis.” That finish line may be in sight, but the race is far from over.  

Here’s how to get the most out of your fall semester of senior year:

  • Take the right courses: Just because the bulk of your high school career is over (and some may have already met graduation requirements) doesn’t mean you should take a light course load your last year. Admissions officers look for consistency and commitment. Rigorous courses with increasing depth and difficulty that build upon what you have already learned make for a robust course load and shows admissions officers that you are dedicated to your education and improving yourself, rather than “taking it easy” that last year  

  • Focus on your grades: This goes hand-in-hand with taking the right courses. An “A” in a cooking course isn’t going to outweigh a “B” in AP biology, but making “A”s and “B”s in all of your advanced courses is important to show consistency. If you’ve maintained an “A” average all throughout high school, then drop to a “B” or “C” average senior year, that sends major red flags. Senior year is no different than your other high school years. You have to work hard to get into the schools you want.  

  • Just because you got in, doesn’t mean you’re set: Universities you have been accepted to will ask for a final transcript, and if your grades and course load aren’t up to par compared to your previous performance, they can, and a lot will, rescind their offer of admission.  

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with navigating the college application process your senior year, the team of expert counselors at IvyWise are here to help you amke the most of your application process.

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