“Senioritis” is a well-established concept for students looking ahead to high school graduation next spring, but as I’ve seen in my years on both the college and high school sides of the college admission process, students can’t afford to simply coast to the finish, even once they start receiving admission offers.

Senior year grades can be a critical piece of the admission process. For students applying under early decision or early action, quarter grades may be requested as college admission offices look to confirm an upward grade trend or to assess your performance in an increasingly demanding curriculum. And while some schools ask for quarter grades, they’re also looking at the full semester, realizing that quarter grades might only include two or three major assignments or tests and that semester grades will be most reflective of your abilities.

College and university admission offices nearly always request a student’s mid-year transcript. For those applying under regular decision or those deferred from early to regular, performance through fall semester senior year is of utmost importance. Grade-point averages through this seventh semester might also be used to determine merit-based scholarships, so do not back down!

Finally, receiving an admission letter is no reason to slack off, either. Schools might still request updated transcripts, and they can rescind offers of admission if a student’s academic performance declines significantly. Remember, a final high school transcript is a required document to enroll in college.

Keep pushing, Morgan Park Academy students, and good luck on semester exams!