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College Corner: Conditional acceptance

[/media-credit] While seniors often get comfortable knowing they are accepted into college, they tend to forget that acceptance is conditional, and may be revoked following a bout of bad grades.

“What do you mean I am not officially accepted to college?” You have submitted your college applications, applied for scholarships, and taken the college entrance exams. Time to kick back and relax, right? Wrong.

Colleges want to see that you are still putting forth the effort to finish strong. It is important to use these last few months to improve your grade point average, do well on AP exams and college placement test, etc. to prove that you are ready to take on the academic challenges that college has to offer.

What many students don’t realize is that colleges can rescind your acceptance. This means that they can take back their decision to accept you based on a disciplinary infraction or a decrease in academic status that does not align with the admission requirements. For more selective colleges and programs this may mean falling below a certain grade point average.

As stated on Cal Poly Admissions, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, requires that students complete each term of their senior year with a 3.0 GPA or better in their core classes to maintain their admission status.

Charles Cole, Senior Associate Director for Admissions and Outreach at Sacramento State, talks about conditional acceptance.

“Conditional acceptance is based on the student’s self-reported GPA and test scores,” Cole said. “Once the college receives the final official transcripts, the evaluators for the college will validate whether the student meets eligibility requirements.”

Cole explains that at Sacramento State when a student does not meet admission requirements upon graduation, their admission decision will be rescinded. If the student believes this is inaccurate, they have two weeks to submit an appeal. The student will be given the opportunity to submit documentation as proof that they have fulfilled the admission requirements.

This could be a credit recovery class or community college class that was left off of their transcript, etc. Extenuating circumstances may also qualify as a potential reason for a decrease in academic standing during the final semester of senior year (illness, death of a parent, etc.).

According to the CSU Information Bulletin, other students who may be considered “conditionally ready” are those who have applied to a CSU, but have not fulfilled the English or Math SAT/ACT score minimums. Depending on their test scores, these students may qualify by taking an accepted senior year-long course with a grade of “C” or better or take the EPT/ELM placement tests at the college campus.

Many students go into these tests blind, but Cole and other college advisors recommend that students study for these tests just like they would the SAT or ACT. If students do not pass the placement test they will be required to enroll in the CSU Early Start Program.

[/media-credit] Although senioritis hits hard in the second semester, students must be careful to continue strong in their course load.

Cole offers great advice for seniors who are struggling with their current workload and are afraid that they may not meet the admission requirements.

“Persist. If you give up now, what is going to keep you motivated going into college?” Cool said. He goes on to describe two different types of students. There are those who start out struggling with Ds but end up receiving As by the end of high school, and those who start out with As and drop to Ds. The first types of students are persistent and have shown that they have the potential to succeed in college.

As seniors, it may be tempting to slack off in these last few months of school, however it may end up costing you dearly. Colleges need to see that you are ready to take on the challenge that next year will bring. There are plenty of other students who would love a spot into your college. Don’t let a lack of motivation ruin your changes of getting in.

For more college information, read the previous College Corner: Scoring free money for college.

Michelle Warkentin can be reached via email here.

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