Friday, July 10, 2009

Senioritis, or the 12th grade blues

I will be out of the office next week, so there will be no new posts or replies until my return. But I leave you with a quick post about the wonderful topic of senior year grades. Yes, I know how you probably feel about this, but go ahead and read it anyways.

Over the past month, the evaluation team in the admissions office has reviewed about 4,500 final high school transcripts. It is exhausting work, but we are checking to make sure that all enrolling students graduated from high school, completed their required curriculum, and finished well academically. I then get the wonderful job of contacting a handful of these students to get more information about very poor senior grades. I am not talking about one bad grade, but instead a downward trend at the end of high school.

Over the last 12 years at UGA, most of these situations are to give these students a warning that unless they make a change, they probably will not last at UGA for more than a year (our reviews show that low senior grades lead to low freshman grades in college). Occasionally, I will have to flag their record and see how the student has done fall semester before allowing the student to register for spring. And on the worst situations (I have had less than ten in my 12 years), I have had to tell the student that they can not attend UGA at all. It is not a fun discussion, but one that is generally better than having the student bomb out in their first year.

As you can see, almost all new students at UGA did well their senior year, so don't take this as a huge warning. I write this, though, to let rising seniors know that colleges do look at senior grades. This is not to punish the students who had issues, but to make sure they are ready for their freshman year. So keep up the good work during your senior year, if not for me (or your parents!), then at least so you will have a good transition into college. Good luck!!

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