Pace yourself during senior year to finish strong
March 22, 2016
Melissa Purdy

You’ve made it.

You’ve received your acceptance letter from the University of Michigan, you’ve posted a picture of yourself on Instagram decked out in maize and blue, and you keep catching yourself daydreaming about autumn in Ann Arbor instead of focusing on your calculus homework.

High school is winding down and the symptoms of “senioritis” are in full force, making it much harder to stay focused on academics as prom, senior trips, and graduation parties take up more and more of your time.

And while a vast majority of our students are able to maintain a healthy and productive balance of school and social life, there are several hundred each year who let their grades decline once they have that admit letter in hand.

And for these students, things can get a bit more complicated.

At U-M, all incoming freshman are required to submit a final high school transcript once they graduate. If grades from senior year include an F, a D, or three or more Cs, the student’s admission is reassessed by a university grade review committee. The committee takes another look at the grades, as well as a written explanation that the incoming student is required to provide.

Another group, the Campus Conduct Committee, carries out a similar protocol for students in cases of misconduct, such as a high school suspension or expulsion, criminal charges, or a criminal conviction. 

For a small number of students every year, these review processes result in having their admission rescinded. For many others, it means waiting in limbo until June or July for a final decision.

This process isn’t meant to be punitive and, in fact, is based on what we know about the students we serve – those whose grades drop in their senior year of high school are much more likely to struggle when they get to college.

What all of this means for you is simple: Enjoy your senior year. Take time to relax and reflect. Celebrate all of your accomplishments, one of which is getting admitted to this amazing university.

And, of course, finish strong.

The transition from high school to college isn’t like crossing a finish line – it’s getting ready to approach the starting gate.

Melissa Purdy

is an assistant director in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions