Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Senioritis Downfall

Yesterday, I sent out two emails to incoming freshman (and I expect I will send out a few more before the end of summer) asking for more information on why their last semester grades had a serious decline. These are not fun emails, as these students are ones where there are serious issues with poor senior grades, and it is at a point where UGA might revoke the admissions offer. Generally, these are students with multiple D/F grades, and no stated issue concerning the grade decline.

We send out an initial communication to these students in case there are personal issues that occurred during the senior year of which we are unaware, with our goal being to understand what has happened before we take any action. Just so you know, we do this for two reasons. First, any admitted student must still show that they are ready for UGA, and have maintained the academic standing that brought about the admission offer in the first place. Secondly, though, is that a severe drop in grades senior year has historically led to very poor grades in the freshman year at UGA, and this is not what UGA or the student really wants in starting off their college years.

So, for all prospective students (especially rising seniors), please know that UGA looks at final grades, and "senioritis" is not an acceptable excuse for poor senior grades. I am not saying you need to make straight A's senior year, but please make sure to keep up the strong work you are hopefully doing now. Please don't make me send you an email next summer!

16 comments:

  1. am an international applicant,i wanted to know if it is possible to apply for early action now and how early action differs from spring admission,also can i go ahead and apply then later on send you my evaluated transcripts or i should send in at same time?

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  2. Anon: Students applying for spring admission cannot apply "Early Action", as we request the full application be submitted for them due to time constraints. The application for summer/fall freshmen will not open up until mid-August. As well, you do not need to have the transcripts sent in when you apply (they can come later), but all materials need to be in by the deadline.

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  3. This post makes me so sad... as my daughter continued to work very hard until the very end finishing with a 94 average. She was deferred and then waitlisted from UGA. While her admitted friends were skipping class and slacking off, finishing with dismal GPAs, she continued to work hard in the hopes that you would decide she was good enough...

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  4. Anon: A large majority of the students who will be enrolling have done very well during their senior year, but we have an occasional issue with a few students whose grades drop. We wish it was not so, but we are also happy for the UGA freshmen who continued to do well their senior year.

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  5. Hi! My first year of High School, I lived in Bangladesh. The school there set the passing threshold at 40% so scoring 70% was actually pretty good. My GPA entering 10th grade was 2.4. I've been a Georgia boy for my whole life except for that year so I came back last summer (for Sophomore year) and I just completed 10th grade. Unfortunately, I got the first "B" in my life second semester in a CP class, but I had 1 semester of AP World History and aced it with a 111% (highest grade in class, really proud). I came out of 10th grade with a 3.3 GPA. The thing is, I have been an exceptional student (so my teachers say!) my whole life. Next year I am taking both 10th and 11th math at the same time to get caught up so I only have room for 2 AP's, but, during Senior year, I plan on taking 2-3. Hypothetically, if I make A's the rest of High School, how badly will Freshman year affect my chances of being accepted?

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  6. Yasir: I cannot say exactly how a lower freshman GPA will impact your overall review, as it will depend on looking at the entire application. It is definitely better to be on the rise in your grades in HS than in decline, but it depends on how you do in the following 2 years. When you apply to colleges in a little over a year, I would suggest you make sure you put this in your application.

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  7. Any news about starting to look spring applicants? Will they let people know as they look at them? Is it going to be posted online or will we receive a letter?

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  8. Thank you very much for the quick reply! Well, I'm going to try to do well in school and maybe join a few clubs and such. Hopefully that will be enough to get into my dream college.

    Go Dawgs!

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  9. Mark: We should know a little more later in July about Spring transfer applicants and timelines. As for Spring freshman applicants, we generally do not start sending out decisions until late September.

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  10. Sorry I was not specific. I will [hopefully] be a transfer student and was wondering when they will start letting people know, but thanks for the quick response and I will be looking for more information in a couple weeks!

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  11. How does UGA feel about their reputiaon of not having enough diversity? I want to apply to UGA and I am African American. Will there be more people like myself that I can relate to instead of being the only African American in a class or what not. I have taken several higher up courses and on more than one occassion this has happene to me.

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  12. Cole: Here is a copy of a comment I posted about a week ago:

    "Angela: I am guessing that whoever told you that UGA has an extreme majority of Caucasian students is not dealing with current information. My estimate is that approximately 30% of the entering freshman class will be non-Caucasian, so I do not think this will cause you any problems if you attend UGA. As well, since ethnicity is not a factor in the admission process, your ethnicity (and everyone elses) will not be an advantage or disadvantage."

    As you can see, the perception some people have of UGA does not come close to the reality. My biggest suggestion is to visit campus, see for yourself what the environment is like, and speak with an admissions counselor at UGA about your overall situation (your academics, your questions about diversity, etc.).

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  13. My son recently got into trouble at school. This is a kid with a perfect 11 ½ year record. He has maintained an A average all 4 yrs so far, Honors AP classes, very competitive ACT, SAT scores. Participated in Sports and community service activities but… he and some friends were caught drinking before a football game on school grounds. He was suspended and received a citation from the school cop. He is being allowed to do all his work so his current grades and GPA will not be affected. He is a great kid who made 1 really stupid decision. He applied back in August, so we had totally forgot that the UGA app has an “honor code” . He received an email from a UGA admissions person reminding him of this code and requested information regarding this incident. Well, my son responded with the required details and a very sincere apology, a very sincere statement that this activity will never happen again. We were never 100% sure he would get in UGA anyway, but my question is…. Will this ONE incident totally rule him out? Will the University totally negate all the good that he has done because of this one bad decision? If the answer is yes, then so be it, he messed up. I just want to be prepared.

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  14. Anon: No, this one issue will not "totally rule him out", although it could mean we want to look at more details and grades before making a decision (deferral) or that if he is admitted EA, he would receive a letter of warning. For some students, the conduct issue is so severe that it could possibly cause a denial decision, but this does not seem to be this type of case.

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  15. Hey Dgraves,
    I just got accepted EA (yay!) but I'm worried about one of my senior grades. My UGA GPA is a 3.931, and I've only made 4 semester B's in all of high school, but my grade in one of my dual enrollment college classes is bad. I'm hoping for a C, but there is a chance that it might be a D. All of my other grades are A's, and I'm sure that my second semester grades will be all A's. This isn't a senioritis downward spiral, just one class that I've struggled with, so would this affect my admission? Thanks so much for this blog!

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  16. 2015Dawg: This generally should not impact your admission if it is one grade that is down after all others are so strong, but make sure you do well second semester. As well, since it is dual enrollment, make sure to talk with your counselor, as you want to make sure you are not on any "academic warning" at that college, and how the grade might impact your HOPE situation if you are a GA resident.

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