You’ve been accepted to the college of your choice! Now it’s time to celebrate, right? Well, yes and no. Take another look at your college acceptance letter. Most likely, there’s a clause stating that your college acceptance is contingent upon your successful completion of your last year of high school.
Colleges and universities monitor your progress throughout your senior year. If your grades fall off precipitously or you begin failing classes, they can rescind their college acceptance offers.
Hampton University states in its Enrollment Guide Fall 2016 and Spring 2017: “… offer of admission is contingent upon graduating on schedule with your class and completing your current courses with distinguished grades.”
That’s not to say that if you receive a poor grade in one class, that your college acceptance will be rescinded. However, if you have been an honor roll student and suddenly receive a number of Cs and Ds your last marking period, chances are institutions will want to know what happened.
Similarly, if you’re a student who has taken all honors and AP classes throughout high school, and you decide to drop them for “regular” classes, again institutions will want to know why. Although rescinding college acceptance offers is uncommon, it does happen.
Character Matters, Too
Good standing outside of class is also important. Drunkenness, drug offenses, and any other trouble with the law—including during the summer after high school graduation—could cause an institution to rescind its offer. Plagiarizing, cheating, and lying on your college application are other reasons an offer can be rescinded; see NYU’s Expectations for Admitted Students.
Your behavior on social media is coming under greater scrutiny. According to a recent survey by Kaplan Test Prep, “A record high of 40% of nearly 400 college admissions officers across the United States visit applicants’ social media pages to learn more about them—quadruple the percentage who did so in 2008, when Kaplan first explored this issue.” Inappropriate social media postings can cause a school to rescind its admissions offer.
Before revoking an offer of admission, most colleges will send out a warning letter in which they ask you to explain the reasons for what happened. If you receive a warning letter, respond immediately. Your college admittance will depend on it.
College acceptance is a cause for celebration; it isn’t time to slack off. Your high school will send your final transcript to your attending institution, and the admissions department will pay close attention to what you did during your senior year. Don’t let “senioritis” or a lapse in judgment negatively affect your admissions opportunity.
Chelsea L. Dixon, M.S., M.A.T. is founder and CEO of GamePhox Unlimited L.L.C. She is a motivational speaker and the author of Bridging the Gap: A Simple Guide to College. Dixon earned a B.A. in sociology from Boston College, an M.A.T. in secondary education from Trenton State College (now the College of New Jersey) and an M.S. in sport management from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. You can learn more about her at www.gamephox.com or www.bridgingthecollegegap.com.