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Do Second Semester Senior Year Grades Matter?

a finish line checkered flag blowing in the air

As you hit the spring semester of your senior year, it's normal to experience some senioritis. Especially once you've submitted your college or university applications. It feels like all of the hard work is behind you.

So can you cut yourself some slack in an attempt to enjoy your final months of high school? We answer this pressing question now. 

Does Spring Semester Your Senior Year Matter?

Although taking a lighter course load is entirely acceptable, your second-semester senior grades matter just as much as your first semester grades do. But how they matter depends on where you are in your college search and application journey, as we explain. 

Regular Decision Applicants 

Though admissions boards mainly refer to first semester senior year grades while reviewing your application, they can request your second semester grades. In fact, you might not even know if a college or university makes such a request for additional information from your high school. It will just happen. 

Moreover, you often won't hear back from schools until March or April. So it's clearly essential to stay on top of your grades in the spring. 

Deferred and Waitlisted Students

If you are waitlisted or deferred early action, you'll need to send an update to the school in question to demonstrate interest. That correspondence will include grades from the second semester of your senior year. Colleges and universities look for consistency or improvement when you're in this position, so don't slack.

If you had a significantly lighter course load or let your grades slip, it's unlikely that will impact a school's decision to admit you. But it could look like you've stopped caring altogether, which isn't how you want to wrap things up after working so hard for so long. And why take that chance anyway?

On the other hand, if you continue to work hard and challenge yourself, admissions officers will see you're serious and perform well, even when no one is watching. That observation could help tip things in your favor.

Admitted Students 

Though not all colleges or universities ask for end-of-year reports, those that do take them seriously. Your high school guidance counselor will be asked to provide your spring semester grades as an official transcript and a summary of any academic changes at the end of the year. 

If a school finds that one of their accepted students dropped the proverbial ball in second-semester classes, they could send a letter rescinding admission. No one wants to receive such devastating news, especially if you paid your deposit and made plans to move in. Although very unlikely to happen, keep this scenario in mind.

Tips for Keeping Your Grades Up Spring Semester

So you're convinced you can't drop the ball now. Good call. To help you cross the finish line strong, here are some helpful resources for studying and keeping your grades up. 

  • Start out strong

It's easier to keep an A than it is to make an A if you're behind. Click the link for tips for starting your semester on top. 

  • Keep studying

You probably have great study skills, but picking up a few more never hurts. Click this link for our top ten study tips

  • Be ready for finals

You might feel like coasting into the home stretch, but you must be ready for finals. Here's how to be prepared for your final exams

Final Thoughts on Spring Semester and Beyond

You've worked hard to get where you are, and you'll soon be able to enjoy the benefits of your perseverance. But if you're not quite sure what that future will look like, we can help.

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Appily also offers a $1,000 easy-apply scholarship every month. There’s no essay or GPA required. Simply create a free account to be eligible. 

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