This is your last semester of high school. However, remember it is not over yet. In most schools, this semester is shorter than your previous seven, so stay alert and remain “a conscientious student” until the end. Here are some essential tips and information for you to remember this semester.
1. If you have not requested a mid-year report to be sent to your college(s), take care of this as soon as possible. Most high schools have a procedure in place, so ask, if you do not know. Over the years, a few colleges have eliminated this process; however, many still require it as an applicant’s obligation. The admissions staff will review your mid-year report for an evaluation of your first semester performance. If you have been admitted, and they are not impressed with your grades, you could receive a “letter of concern” regarding your assumed matriculation. If you have not been admitted, yet, the report provides additional information for the admissions committee to review for their decision.
2. If you still need Student Service Learning (SSL)/community service hours, take care of this deficit as soon as possible. This is a graduation requirement and will prevent you from graduating in June. Be sure to check other graduation requirements so there will be no surprises at the end of the semester.
3. In some high schools, the semester exams for seniors will be administered during class, and the designated percentage will be included in the fourth quarter grade. This could be a disaster if your fourth quarter grade is low and you fail your semester exam.
4. You must send your final semester grades to your college of choice; this is the final report. Be sure to inquire about the process at your school. Most include it with senior clearance. The final report serves two purposes for colleges: (1) They find out if you graduated; (2) They review your second semester performance to determine if you are still a viable candidate for admission. If not, they can rescind a decision.
5. If you are contemplating a schedule change, now, it might not be a wise choice. Seniors are admitted to college based on the schedule that was presented at the time of application. Discuss your plan with your school counselor. Schedule changes can also cause a college to rescind a decision. If you are not doing well in a class, consider getting help from the teacher and other school resources. Contacting a college before a change is made, for their perspective, is a recommended option. Be sure to document all communication. You do not want them to be surprised by your new schedule when they receive the final report this summer.
6. Become proactive in your scholarship search. Also complete your FAFSA and/or CSS/PROFILE promptly.
7. In case you are not aware, according to NACAC’s Statement of Principles of Good Practice, you are responsible for the following tasks in the college admission process, after you receive your decision:
-You must notify each college/university that accepts you whether you are accepting or rejecting its offer. THIS MUST BE DONE BY MAY 1st.
-You may confirm your intent to enroll, and if required, submit a deposit TO ONLY ONE COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY. The exception is if you are put on a wait list by a college/university and are later admitted to that university. You must immediately notify a college/university at which you previously indicated your intention to enroll.
-If you are accepted under an Early Decision plan, you must promptly withdraw the applications submitted to other colleges/universities and make no further applications.
8. Sometimes second semester seniors get a little lazy, but remember, no senioritis. This is not a legitimate medical disorder. And also, no silly pranks. If invited by peers to participate, just say no thanks.
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