Senioritis. The perennial problem of students in their senior year of high school slacking off. Everyone knows it happens but does it really make a difference to colleges? The answer is an unqualified Yes.
Every year some students just don’t believe it when they are told that they need to keep their grades up particularly if accepted at a selective college. Colleges don’t like to “unaccept” students, but they will if the student indicates that they don’t have the maturity to continue to get strong grades. If there is something else that has caused a drop in grades, most colleges will look at the explanation before automatically rejecting the student. But don’t take that risk. Continue to work during the senior year so that you don’t have to explain to the college that accepted you why they should continue your acceptance.
A related problem are students who make adjustments to their schedule after college applications have been submitted. Colleges evaluate students based on their grades and courses taken and assume that students will complete all senior year courses. Any changes to the senior schedule without telling the colleges can affect the admission decision, even after it has been made. If a schedule change is going to be made, let the colleges know and explain the reason for the schedule change. Similarly, if you get a grade that is not consistent with your past schedule, you are better off telling the college of the grade and providing a reasonable explanation for the grade.
One of the other problems with a students failure to keep their grades up is the possible loss of merit scholarships based on previously high grades or class rank. Colleges can and will reduce a student’s financial aid award if they no longer meet the criteria for a particular scholarship.
Have fun during your senior year. But do so while continuing to take the courses you told the colleges you were taking and maintaining the same quality of grades as found on the rest of your transcript.