2 years ago
Admissions Advice

Do colleges consider wait for all senior year grades to be posted? Can you ask them to?

I'm currently a junior retaking a load of classes from my second semester of sophomore year since the pandemic hit a major toll on my household. I need to retake 2 a-g required classes separate from those I failed in 2021, so I'm planning on taking the maximum amount of classes this summer. If I can't finish all my classes because some aren't available this summer or for an eight period, can colleges still put me on a waitlist if I explain my situation? Anything is helpful!


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2 answers

Accepted Answer
2 years ago

Colleges will not be able to see all of your senior year grades, and they will be unable to put your application on hold to wait for your grades to come in. However, you can certainly take steps to make sure that colleges understand your extenuating circumstances.

The best thing you can do would be to explain how COVID had an impact on your household and your grades in the Additional Information section of your applications. Knowing this context will help colleges focus more on the upward trend in your academic performance after sophomore year. This blog post has more tips about how to use the Additional Info section to your full advantage.

Another thing to note is that college admissions is holistic, so admissions officers will take all the parts of your profile into account to make their admissions decision. If these other parts are exceptional, they can make up for not so stellar grades. If academics are your only issue, colleges are most likely to accept you and have you take remedial classes over the summer rather than wait listing you. Hope this helps!

2 years ago[edited]

If you apply Early Decision or Early Action on Nov.1, your grades will not be posted for the 1st Semester by the Decision Date around 12/15. If your school is on a tri-mester system, then they might be posted. So your decision will be based on 9th through 11th grades. They don't typically waitlist anyone for ED or EA to it's either going to be a acceptance, deferment to the RD round, or a rejection.

If you apply Regular Decision by 1/1 to 1/15, then admissions officer will only have your 9th-11th grades Plus your 1st Semester of 12th grades. Since decisions come out anywhere between the last week of February to the last week of March., they will not give you a conditional acceptance in anticipation of your last semester of grades. They do this sort of thing in the UK but not in the US.

Your decision will be either an acceptance, waitlist or rejection based on what is in your application file, not what is coming down the pipeline in the future.

What colleges use the last semester of grades for is to make sure the admits have continued to keep their grades up. They all have a right to rescind your application if you completely drop the ball during the last semester.

Remember that grades alone do not explain your academic narrative. Course rigor, Test scores, the amount of honors, APs or IBs or college courses and outside intellectual pursuits which are evidence of intellectual vitality. So if you are trying to get into better colleges and don't have the total package of academics plus some impressive ECs nor the confidence to articulate yourself in the best light with your writing or oratory abilities, I always recommend that taking an extra year of HS to graduate might serve you well. You get no penalty from taking an extra year. If anything, it may allow you to attend a better school in the long run.

Good luck.

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