The age-old student practice of slacking off and generally behaving less than angelically toward the end of senior year could have more serious consequences than usual this year, according to an article by two college-admissions experts published in USA Today.
Because of the economic downturn, colleges are unsure how many of the incoming freshmen they have admitted will be able to accept their offers, and consequently have been admitting more students than usual, write Robin Mamlet and Christine VanDeVelde, who are working on a book about the admissions process. In the event that schools end up over-enrolled, however, they will probably have to invoke the fine print on their admissions letters and revoke some offers. This is where kids who are undergoing serious bouts of senioritis could be in trouble.
“Admission departments will double-check for drops in grades, absenteeism and situations in which, for example, a student’s application said he was taking three advanced placement classes, but he later dropped two,” Mamlet and VanDeVelde say. “They also will watch for red flags that arise from lapses in judgment or integrity, such as cheating, plagiarism, drinking or drug use.” In other words, a bad spell of indolence or a particularly ugly prom night could get a kid de-listed from the college of his or her choice.
In cases where there are obvious signs of trouble on a student’s record, the authors advise that the student fess up and notify the college admissions office as soon as possible. “A school often will look more kindly on such news when informed well before viewing the final transcript,” the authors write.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.