The student news site of Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, MN

Knight Errant

The student news site of Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, MN

Knight Errant

The student news site of Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, MN

Knight Errant

Does Early Admission Affect Senior Slide?

Luca Righini
Seniors are excited to move on to the next chapter of their lives but are still working hard in their classes.

Upon reaching their senior year, senior students finally get to cap off their high school careers and head to college. Many universities offer an earlier method of admission where if an applicant can meet an earlier deadline, they will earn themselves earlier feedback from the school. College acceptance is relieving for seniors as it finally puts an end to the application process, decision process, and most of all, the pressure to succeed in all of their classes. With the pressure gone, a phenomenon commonly known as the “senior slide” begins to creep into senior classes.

Senior slide is a term used to describe the dropoff in performance in high school or college students during their senior year. This is often a result of senior burnout from previously putting everything into their classes. Additionally, seniors are excited to transition into college life, something that diverts their focus away from their present grades and classes.

Traditionally, college applicants hear back from the schools that they applied to sometime during the second semester of their senior year. The event of being accepted into a university and then officially committing to said university is usually the genesis of the senior slide. However, with earlier admissions, students can hear back from colleges as soon as early fall. Committing early to college can affect the commencement of the senior slide and can often distract students from a whole semester of classes.

To some degree, high school seniors do deserve to finally rest and stand on top of their accomplishments in high school after three years of diligent work to get them into the school of their choice. However, it is also important to maintain a similar level of academic standards during their senior year as demonstrated in their freshman, sophomore, and junior years. While the grades received during senior year no longer contribute to their college applications, it is still crucial for seniors to remain engaged in their classes for their own knowledge. While the official final grades don’t matter as much, learning the content taught during senior year does, especially in classes that may affect performance in college.

Additionally, most universities require admitted students to keep their academic performance consistent, even after they’ve been admitted. For example, if a student is admitted with a 4.0 grade point average, they are expected to have a similar performance during their senior year to a certain degree. Some variation is acceptable, but a drastic change in performance, such as going from a 4.0 to a 2.0 grade point average, can result in students getting their application rescinded. A rescinded application can result in deferral to a different application pool or even flat-out rejection from the school.

Of course, there are other ways to have your application rescinded. Universities still care about things like applicants’ quality of character, disciplinary record, and maintaining the difficulty of classes taken. Firstly, quality of character. Tulane University labels this as “don’t be a jerk,” and it speaks for itself. If an admitted student is having behavioral issues and developing a bad reputation, they have a chance for their application to be rescinded by the university. Universities don’t want to have a toxic environment on campus, and if an applicant reveals that they aren’t really who they claimed to be prior to being admitted, the school they have been admitted to notices.

Secondly, disciplinary record. Similar to quality of character, this is self-explanatory. Admitted students are required to uphold the integrity that they were admitted with. If a student begins to do things like dodge class or cheat on exams, those things show up on their disciplinary record. Essentially, students want to keep their rap sheets clean.

Lastly, students must maintain the difficulty of classes taken. When applying, students are required to submit a class list for their senior year. Think of it as a “strength of schedule” for the upcoming school year. If a student registers for all AP or high-level courses, they are expected to follow through with taking said courses. If an admitted student proceeds to drop all of the difficult classes they were registered for, then they aren’t upholding the promised course difficulty. Of course, schedule changes happen, but a drastic dropoff in class difficulty is often enough for universities to rescind an application.

As a senior myself, the scare of having my application pulled is motivation enough to perform. The common assumption is that once you’re accepted, you’re done; you just have to pass every class and not fail out of school during your senior year. Having your application rescinded isn’t something that should scare incoming seniors. As long as they keep doing what they’re doing, there won’t be any issues with heading to college after their senior year.

The grade itself isn’t everything, so it isn’t as important to maintain straight A’s in senior year, but it is important to make sure that all the material is understood. Additionally, in most cases, if seniors want to remain admitted to the school of their choice, they will need to uphold similar grades, disciplinary records, and strength of classes to those that they were admitted with. While seniors should be awarded a pat on the back for getting into college, their performance senior year does still matter.

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