Guidance Stresses Importance of First Quarter Grades for Seniors

Guidance+department+transcript+secretary+Missy+Ketley+prepares+to+send+out+a+seniors+first+quarter+grades+to+colleges.+%7CPhoto+by+Phil+Huber+11

Guidance department transcript secretary Missy Ketley prepares to send out a senior’s first quarter grades to colleges. |Photo by Phil Huber ’11

Phil Huber ’11
Staff Writer

Guidance department transcript secretary Missy Ketley prepares to send out a senior's first quarter grades to colleges. |Photo by Phil Huber '11
Guidance department transcript secretary Missy Ketley prepares to send out a senior's first quarter grades to colleges. |Photo by Phil Huber '11

Now that the first marking period has ended, some seniors have submitted applications to the universities of their choice. This would apply to students who have chosen early decision and early action deadlines, often Nov. 1 or earlier.

Many of these students have been required to submit their first quarter grades to the schools they’ve applied to. However, some confusion remains about the importance of first quarter grades.

Paula Kennedy, an Admissions officer at Southern Connecticut State University, said that keeping it together academically throughout senior year is more significant than some might think.

“They [first quarter grades] are important. The senior year is one fourth of an applicant’s secondary school career,”
said Kennedy.  “Colleges and Universities want to see a strong academic senior year and want applicants to work as hard their senior year as they did their first three years of high school.”

Students should consider this before entering the infamous “senior slump”.  Some, however, don’t see senior year as one of the most important parts of high school. 

“Although I find senior year important, I feel that the general message is that senior year is far less significant than junior year,” Helene Neuhaus ’10 said.

Some seniors, however, find their last year in high school very important.

“It really does all matter. I wish I had performed better during the first two years. A lot of people tend to think ‘oh, I have time,’ but that catches up to you and then you feel more pressure to perform well when you’re a senior,” Janine Atway ’10 said. Elaine Schwartz, director of guidance, said that every college wants to see students’s mid year grades. In addition, they will request your grades for the entire year come June. Schwartz also explained that second semester senior grades can be more significant than expected.

“Students don’t realize that they can be put on a waiting list without them knowing. Depending on when the college decides to review a student’s application, the second half of senior year could have more of an impact,” said Schwartz.  Schwartz also added that if one goes down far enough academically, one’s admission could be revoked. She knows of students who have had to defend their senior grades to the schools they were accepted to.

“Colleges want to see you continuing on an upward scale or maintaining what you have”, says Schwartz.

One thing is certain: students will have a hard time figuring out how important a school views firstquarter grades or senior grades in general.

“There is no absolute guideline or rule when it comes to how colleges view the relevance of 1st quarter senior grades,” Kennedy said.