The second of two blogs, my colleague Marina Fried will answer the question: “How important is senior year to the admissions committee?” Read “The Importance of Senior Year – Part I” on the Admissions Blog.
As a Cornell alum (’98) and having worked at Cornell for nearly ten years now, I just can’t seem to get enough The beauty and richness of the campus and its natural surroundings, coupled with the incredible students I meet year after year, continue to make my job extremely enjoyable and exciting. I currently live downstate in the Metro, NY area and am responsible for the recruitment programs in NYC, Long Island, Westchester, Rockland and Putnam Counties. Go Big Red!
As I mentioned previously, your senior year curriculum is very important to us. But, that is only part of it. This leads me to my next point; the importance of senior year grades. Many students are misinformed that senior year grades do not play a large role in the admissions process. The assumption is that since we do not have those grades by the time you apply, we do not consider them. This is a HUGE MISTAKE. Senior year grades are incredibly important to us since this is the time when most of you are taking the more challenging AP, IB, and honors level courses. These are most similar to the types of courses you will take in college, and the grades you receive in these courses provide us with critical information. Please do not underestimate the importance of these courses and grades. If we don’t have these grades at the time you apply, we will ask for them or they will be sent to us by your guidance/college counselor. This is a key part of your academic record and you should work as hard or harder during your senior year as you have the first three years in high school.
Another key aspect of your academic record that we consider is your academic trend. If your first year of high school wasn’t your best, but then you really turned it around and have been doing stellar the past two years or so, that is also something we certainly look at. Similarly, we notice if you have been an A/A- student the first three years of high school and then decide to take an academic vacation. We would much rather see an upward trend as far as difficulty and grades, then a downward trend. Downward trends rarely do anything but hurt students in the admissions process.
My intention with these blogs is certainly not to scare you in any way or create greater anxiety in an already crazy process. Rather, I wrote these to provide you with some concrete information about how important your senior year is to us. With that said, I hope that your last year of high school is filled with excitement, positive challenges, fun, exploration and success. Best to you all!