Colleges May Take Back That Acceptance Letter
Warning: there has been a sudden increase in seniors struck with “senioritis.” It is an extremely debilitating and contagious disease. Those sick report a total loss of all willpower and say they spend afternoons relaxing with friends, watching TV, or sleeping instead of doing homework. “It’s horrible,” says Hannah McFadden, “I come home from school everyday and it feels like we’re on a break.” The most dangerous part of the disease: seniors are convinced that the relaxation is well deserved.
And it most certainly is. From the beginning of junior year to the end of the first semester of senior year, students are plagued with stress, pressure, work, and fear. Burned out from the mental strain, second semester seems like an escape. Describing the senioritis mindset, Hannah McFadden continues, “showing up to class without my homework doesn’t seem like such a bad thing anymore, whereas last year I’d never have done that.” This attitude can end in tragedy.
Every year, colleges warn that acceptance into their schools are conditional. The idea that admission can be rescinded sounds like the ultimate, cruel myth, designed only to add more stress. It is, however, far from myth.
After being sent the “Final School Report,” which includes the grades from second semester, colleges scour through the numbers to ensure that they still want the students that they said “yes” to. Schools rescind admission for multiple reasons. Students who get arrested or suspended, students who let their grades drop, or students who fail to graduate will all be at risk for losing their spots.
Some schools, like the University of Washington, will call students and simply say something along the lines of “sorry but you are no longer invited to attend.” Other schools, like Franklin & Marshall, give students a chance to explain. Unfortunately, the CDC does not recognize “senioritis” as an official disease and thus, it is not a sufficient excuse.
Sometimes students don’t know that their admissions have been rescinded until August because the reports take a while to process. This is well after students have rejected offers from other schools and have paid the tuition and housing deposits.
No one really knows how much of a drop in grades is too much. According to the Washington Post, a student who gets all sixes and some fives and then drops to mostly fives and one or two fours should be okay. If the same student drops to all fours and a few threes, there could be a problem. But it depends on the school and on the admissions officer.
Arguing that three and a half years are proof enough of a student’s capabilities, Kristopher Kesoglides thinks the threat is unfair. “Obviously we have to attempt to get decent grades,” he says. But Kristopher also insists that remaining consistent is unrealistic and not grounds for rescinding admission.
Mr. Ted Spencer, director of admissions at the University of Michigan, in the New York Times, argues that some students “are not yet ready to undertake the demanding and competitive programs offered.” Like the University of Michigan, most schools have long waitlists and easily replace the slackers with students who overcame senioritis.
Ways To Beat Senioritis
The Bacc Rag’s resident experts on senioritis, themselves victims of the disease, recommend the following treatment:
1. Write “I Want to Go to College” on a piece of paper and tape it up somewhere where you’ll see it.
2. Give yourself a break every now and then. Go out with friends, watch that movie you want to see or go on Facebook. But set a time limit.
3. Punish yourself with a stern lecture about being disappointed if you don’t stick to that time limit. Escalate the punishment if behavior continues.
4. Tell yourself that it is only five more months and then you’ll have the summer to relax.
5. Tell yourself that if you don’t do well you’ll be spending the summer crying not relaxing.
6. Think about that cute college hoodie and how depressing it will be to wear it if your admission gets rescinded.
7. Make a to-do list and eat a cookie, or a grilled cheese sandwich, every time you get to cross one item off.
8. Have a good time. By now you should have strong time management skills. Use them.