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Can Colleges Rescind Offers of Admission?

Wed, Jan 23, 2019 @ 01:22 PM

Can Colleges Rescind Offers of AdmissionCollege-Bound Students Need to Beware of ‘Senioritis’

You’ve worked hard throughout high school, put together stellar applications, and gained admission to your top-choice schools, but your admissions offer can be in jeopardy even before you graduate. Why? Senioritis strikes many college-bound 12th graders each year, with declining grades and school participation making it very likely that their offers of admission could be rescinded once final transcripts go out.

Is this something students really need to worry about? Can colleges rescind acceptances? In short, yes, colleges can rescind offers of admission for a number of reasons. For example, if a student’s grades dropped significantly after applying. Or, as was demonstrated in a controversial Harvard case, if students’ bad behavior online is exposed. Colleges reserve the right to evaluate students’ final transcripts after the school year is over, and if anything looks off – like a grade dip, disciplinary infractions, or other red flags – they can take back their offer or admission or amend it to be “probationary.” In that case, students may have a semester or year to achieve and maintain a certain GPA or course load in order to remain enrolled at the school.

So what does this mean for college-bound seniors that already have early admission decisions or have completed their regular decision applications? Here are a few tips to keep students from losing their offers of admission this spring.

Keep Up the Hard Work!
You’ve worked really had to get this far – don’t stop now! Just because the application season is over doesn’t mean the work is. Focus on continuing to make good grades in your current courses, prep for AP or IB exams, and don’t skip any homework assignments! It’s a slippery slope once you start skipping out on schoolwork, so avoid the pull of senioritis by keeping up the good work. Again, colleges will see your final transcripts, and if a straight-A student suddenly makes Cs in their final semester that’s a big red flag to colleges.

Don’t Slack in Your Extracurriculars
Just like putting off your schoolwork can turn into a bad habit, starting to pull away from your regular extracurricular activities can also cause you to lose momentum – and that can creep into other areas of your life. You want to make an impact and see your extracurricular initiatives to the end, so don’t stop participating now that your college apps are in. If you’re involved with activities that truly align with your passions you won’t want to lose focus, however, if you do find yourself lacking the drive to continue then take a step back and evaluate why. Are you overscheduled? Or are you not getting what you want out of the experience anymore? If so, find new ways to ignite your excitement, which brings us to our next point…

Find New Ways to Stay Motivated
It’s not uncommon to feel burnt out after the intensive college application process – leading to senioritis in the second half of the year. If you find yourself struggling to stay motivated, find new ways to get back into your normal groove. Maybe that’s exploring a new hobby that calms you, like exercise or baking. Or it could be changing the trajectory of a current project to something more exciting and relevant. Students can often feel stagnant at this point in the year, so it’s important to find new ways to spark your creativity and motivation. 

Fighting off a case of senioritis can be difficult, but it’s important to continue to make good grades, participate in your extracurriculars, and stay motivated in order to secure –and keep – admission to your top-choice colleges. Want to learn more about how to combat the senior scaries? Check out our IvyWise Knowledgebase for more resources for high school students!

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