Bad grades or no acceptance letter: which would you choose?


By Olivia Ronca ’18

As a senior in high school, you have decided to apply to 15 colleges. Your email begins to flood with messages from both the guidance department and your guidance counselor: “College Visit from University of Connecticut.” If you scroll through your school email account within the past month, you can find at least twenty emails with the words “College Visit from” in the subject line.

While many students choose to attend these information meetings, it can prove to be problematic. The sessions are scheduled for a one hour block within a school day, meaning that seniors often have to miss class in order to attend these sessions. This is an issue for some seniors, because they are too nervous to miss class.

Students are being forced to choose between risking poor grades because of missing class and showing interest to the colleges they could potentially spend the next four years of their lives at.

Over 200 college representatives visit the Staples guidance College and Career Center between mid September and the beginning of November. Throughout these two months, a range of one to 50 students attends attend each of these 200 plus information sessions.

“My told me that if we missed class for a college visit, that we were going to have to learn the stuff we learned in class that day on our own,” Abby Turner ’18 said. “I don’t want to have to teach myself the material, because I probably won’t understand it correctly.”

So why not just go to your class rather than attend the college rep. session? Many colleges across the United States measure demonstrated interest as one of the pieces of your application. If you attend the meeting with a college representative at your school, it increases your demonstrated interest.

Tulane University, located in New Orleans, Louisiana, calculates demonstrated interest as an important factor in their application process. On the Tulane University Admissions Blog, the Director of Admission, Jeff Schiffman, published an article titled “5 Way to Demonstrate Your Interest.”

“Admission officers are on the road in your hometown a lot. Make it worth our while! Come to the high school visit or the information night in your hometown,” Schiffman said.

Good grades are a huge piece of your college application, and for some schools, demonstrating your want to attend their school is another huge piece. Students should not have to make this difficult choice on whether or not to attend a college information session during their daily scheduled class. Teachers should allow students to miss class and find a way to teach the material another time.