Senioritis Survival Guide

Struggling with the senior year slump? Here’s how to prioritize the important stuff and ensure your college acceptance doesn’t get rescinded.

Ah, senior year. The year of prom, graduation, and college acceptances. But it’s also the year of senioritis — that nagging inertia that makes it hard to get out of bed and even harder to focus in class. Don’t worry, you’re not alone! We’ve all been there, scrolling through TikTok instead of studying for that Calc final. But while senioritis is mostly a harmless affliction, it can have some serious consequences; if your grades drop too precipitously, you might end up getting your college acceptance revoked. It’s rare, but it does happen — in a typical year, about 22% of colleges rescind at least one offer, sometimes because of disciplinary issues like plagiarism or underage drinking, but most commonly because an applicant’s academic success has fallen off a cliff. So, to help you avoid that dreaded call from your dream school’s admissions office, we’ve compiled some tips to help you fight senioritis and stay on track — or at least, on track enough to keep your college dreams intact. Trust us, you’ll thank us later when you’re walking across that stage with honors!

1. Colleges will see your final grades (even if you got in ED)

If you’re a straight-A senior fretting because your transcript has become clouded with a single B+, you can relax. Admissions officers aren’t robots. But, every year, there are seniors who stick their heads in the sand as they start to rack up multiple Cs or Ds. Remember that admissions officers will see your final transcript — even if you were admitted ED in December, colleges are still interested in the grades you receive in May, and they want to see you maintaining the stellar GPA that got you accepted. If you do find your grades slipping, it can massively help if you keep track of your efforts to save those grades, like organizing a study group or working with a tutor. Admissions folks are more likely to be forgiving of a drop in grades if they know it isn’t the result of slacking!

2. If you’re waitlisted, your senior spring grades are especially important

High school seniors who have been waitlisted often feel like they’re in limbo, anxiously awaiting that acceptance letter from their dream school that will change everything. While being on a waitlist means the college has determined that you are already qualified to attend, some colleges also welcome updates from waitlisted candidates, and a rockstar performance since you applied can only help you. In other words, it’s great if you can maintain your GPA — and even better if you can nudge it upwards a tiny bit.

3. Prioritize your AP classes

Sometimes, you’ve got to spend your evening convincing your parents to let you go on that senior beach trip — and that means you don’t get to give your English paper a final polish before it’s due. Look, we get it: as seniors, you have a lot on your plate, and you want to lighten up on your academic intensity to enjoy your final year of high school. We support you taking some much-deserved rest, but it’s also worth it to prioritize your AP classes and exams. Your older self will thank you later when you enter college with more credits under your belt and have greater flexibility in your curriculum.

Need personalized support to stay on track in your senior spring and keep the path to your dream college clear? Our subject tutoring and executive functioning teams are here to help.

Caroline Hertz