Teenagers often mistakenly believe they’re wearing a cloak of invulnerability: “It won’t happen to me.”
It’s unfortunate that it often takes something bad to happen to someone else to make others believers.
According to Larry Drucker, assistant principal at Ardrey Kell High School in Charlotte, that’s exactly what happened at his previous high school. One of his star seniors had received a full-ride scholarship worth over $200,000.
As quickly as he framed that letter, the scholarship vanished due to his poor performance in his second semester of senior year.
It happens every year at high schools across the country.
It’s a cautionary tale that parents, high school administrators and even college admissions officers wish students would take more seriously. Roughly one-third of colleges revoke admissions each year.
With so many applicants and long waiting lists, colleges may be less willing to gamble on a student who has faltered. Colleges don’t like to rescind their offers of admission. They accept students they want, students they believe can succeed academically at their institution.
But seniors are still “on probation,” so to speak, until final grades are released.
A recent University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill acceptance letter states “Because we have high hopes for you, I want to encourage you to continue preparing yourself for the challenges you will face here. The same curiosity and hard work that have brought you to this happy moment in your academic life will be crucial as you make the transition to college.
“Because we want you to come to Carolina ready to excel, your enrollment will depend upon your successful completion of your current academic year. We require that you continue to achieve at the level that enabled us to offer you admission …”
There’s still time
If seniors who have already been accepted are showing signs of senioritis, they need to get back in the game. If they’ve had a dip in the beginning of second semester, there’s still plenty of time to bring grades up, but they need to take action now.
Many seniors are beginning to feel less connected to their friends and family and are nervous about leaving high school. Anticipating what college will be like is equally stressful. Hopefully you can talk about some these emotions and lighten the load.
Bierer is an independent college adviser based in Charlotte. www.collegeadmissionsstrategies.com.
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