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College Corner: Conditional acceptance

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[/media-credit] Academic advisor Michelle Warkentin speaks to the juniors and seniors about college acceptance letters and Conditional acceptance.
As I purchased the last gift off my family’s wish list (thank you Amazon online shopping) I gave a sigh of relief knowing that I no longer have to deal with the stress of fighting over parking lot stalls and waiting in endless checkout lines.

I still have the wrapping and the baking to do, but the worst part is over. I cannot help but think of my high school seniors in a similar state with college applications. Not quite time to enjoy, but for a moment they can rest, knowing that the hardest part is over.

In an attempt to advise my students about what to do at this point in the year I interviewed some local college admissions representatives about what to do now and how students should interpret a letter notifying them that they have been “conditionally accepted.”

Erika Contreras, Outreach Ambassador at Fresno State advises students to tie up loose ends and not slack off during their second semester of high school.

“I would advise students to make sure there are no lose ends,” Contreras said. “They’ve just finished applying to college but submitting the application is not the final step.”

She reminds students to make sure they’ve paid the application fee, submitted any other documents required, applied to programs such as EOP and Smittcamp, and applied for available scholarships and financial aid.

For information about these and other Fresno State scholarships click here.

For students who are planning on attending a college such as Fresno State, the application is just the start of the college checklist. In March students need to accept or decline admission to Fresno State and register for Dog Days, the mandatory student orientation held over summer.

Submitting documents such as SAT/ACT scores, residency forms and official transcripts is also important. The conditional acceptance is not taken off of a student’s account until all required documents have been submitted.

Try to think of your senior year as not just finishing high school but training for college. Offers of admission to the University of California are provisional until the campus receives your final official transcript and verifies successful completion of all coursework required for UC eligibility. You can jeopardize your admission if you fail to maintain your academic performance next semester. —┬áDustin Noji, Associate Director of Admissions at UC Merced

“Being ‘conditionally accepted’ means that students have been accepted on the CONDITION that they continue to meet admittance requirements,” Contreras said. “The grades they receive for their final semester really matter.”

Dustin Noji, Associate Director of Admissions at UC Merced, also talks about the importance of senior year grades.

“Keep up with your academics,” Noji said. “Most campuses admit students with the expectation that their academic records the last year of high school will stay similar to what they were when they applied, or will be even stronger.”

Noji also states that how students finish high school is often a great predictor of how their first semester in college will be.

“Try to think of your senior year as not just finishing high school but training for college,” Noji said. “Offers of admission to the University of California are provisional until the campus receives your final official transcript and verifies successful completion of all coursework required for UC eligibility. You can jeopardize your admission if you fail to maintain your academic performance next semester.”

Noji went on to explain that although unfortunate, it is not uncommon that they have to rescind a student’s admission at orientation because the student did not meet their conditions of admission.

How easy it would be to fall into the trap of becoming complacent and slack off on grades during the final semester, but do not let this be you! A conditional letter of acceptance is a huge accomplishment and something to be very proud of.

However, the ball is not out of your court yet. It is still up to you to turn in all documents needed for final acceptance and maintain good standing in your courses through graduation.

My final words of advice are to use this time during Christmas break to relax and refocus in order to prepare for the final semester of high school. Do not give any college a reason to double-check your admissions status. Instead make this next semester your best semester!

For more opinions, read the Dec. 9 article, The truth behind modern headlines. For more on College Corner read, College Corner: Financial Aid.

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