Does Senior Year GPA Matter?

Andy Wang
Andy Wang

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One common misconception that high school students tend to believe centers around senioritis. There is a common belief that colleges and universities do not look at a student’s high school GPA during his or her senior year. This misconception stems from the fact that colleges will often post a GPA “minimum” that each student must have, in order to prevent their admission from getting rescinded. So, does senior year GPA matter?

The confusion

Yes, it actually does. This minimum only applies to the grades a student receives after he or she is admitted, which means the first semester’s grades are still factored into the high school GPA that colleges look at. In addition, aside from just the fact colleges still look at the first semester’s grades, there are a few other reasons why students should try and maintain a strong high school GPA throughout the entirety of their senior year.

The most obvious reason for trying to maintain a strong GPA is to avoid any risk of possibly being rescinded from colleges. This looming concern is a lot more realistic than admittees think, especially for some of the colleges with strong programs.

What do I need to know?

For the majority of schools, a 3.0 on a 4 point scale is what most schools require from their applicants to get on all their classes. However, this 3.0 varies based on the school. Some schools require their admittees to average a 3.0 across all of his or her classes; while some require their admittees to get a 3.0 in all of his or her individual classes. While this threshold seems very easy to achieve, all it would take is possibly one grade in one class for a high schooler to lose their favorite school.

Other reasons your senior year GPA matters:

Another reason why it’s important to maintain a good high school GPA throughout one’s senior year? It is a great way to support an applicant’s case if he or she is trying to appeal a decision to a school. One statement colleges have consistently said about academic performance is that improvement matters. They want to see that over the four years of high school, you are a strong candidate who continues to improve and strives for a goal no matter the obstacles.

By finishing off high school with an improved high school GPA, a candidate who was previously rejected or deferred can make a strong case for an appeal. Your appeal will show that you performed well and continued to show academic improvement. Above all else, a strong academic performance behind an appeal shows admission offices dedication and drive. This is something that heavily demanded not only by good schools, but by many jobs, and life.

You can do this

While there is a slight truth about senior year having less impact than sophomore and junior year, it’s still within the best interest for student to not let “senioritis” get the best of them. From just avoiding any possibility of getting rescinded to building a strong appeal case for schools that a student got rejected from, a student’s senior year round outs his or her high school GPA. Not to mention, it sets the tone for the next four years of college.

Questions? Let us know!