May 24, 2009

Senioritis Alert!!

Based on subject line alone, I can see the eyes glazing. Little trash bins are opening all over greater Oakton, as the following email lecture snaps deleted from those few college mailboxes still being checked by high school seniors.

"Geesh, Ms. G, I was smart enough to make it this far. Trust me, I'm not going to blow my college future in the last month of high school."

I want to believe it, but when I hear seniors boast that all those stories about revoked admissions are myths used to scare students into behavioral compliance, I get worried. Frankly, it's much more likely that you'll come down with a disabling case of senioritis than the much trendier swine flu virus. In fact, I see it on my suburban cul-de-sac where decidedly naive high school students gather both before and after school to indulge in behaviors I don't even want to know about. While underclassmen might be sensitive to the requirements of future college applications and wisely avoid embarrassing situations, it seems that seniors are somewhat less than cautious when it comes to courting potential suspensions or other reportable high school violations. Oh, and they don't seem to care as much about getting those "college bound" grades anymore. After all, slips in academic performance are to be expected. Or are they?

Colleges most emphatically say no. In a report recently released by the National Association of College Admissions Counselors (NACAC), some 37% of all responding colleges revoked at least one offer of admission during the most recent year surveyed. Of those revoked, almost 69% were as a result of badly eroded grades and 25% were rescinded based on disciplinary issues:

If statistics don't move you, perhaps a few anecdotes will:

In fact, USA Today goes on to suggest that because of peculiarities in this year's admissions, students accepted to public colleges and universities may be at even greater risk of intense scrutiny as schools attempt to thin out the ranks of accepted freshmen:

I know that the majority of you will finish your senior year in good order and that some will even experience record-breaking GPA's. This warning is not for you. For those who haven't quite gotten around to turning in your last 5 English assignments, please come home from the beach now....

P.S. Parents should note that the NACAC report also extends a subtle warning to you as well: 2.3% of the revoked admissions were because of double deposits. Yes, they do find out.

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