Pre-College Parents: Can You Nip Senioritis in the Bud?

The fall semester has come to a close, and spring is quickly approaching. For most pre-college students, the final months of school can be a blessing or a curse: graduation is just around the corner; summer is in the air; college applications are complete. Eking through those last months of homework, exams and college decisions can be grueling.

“Senioritis,” a terrible affliction that affects millions of high school students, hits around January and February when seniors lose motivation to finish homework and attend classes, and have a dismissive attitude towards school in general. Sound familiar, parents?

Parents, it’s important to not let the end-of-school funk affect your student by letting their grades drop or spoil those last precious months. Giving in to senioritis can be a big mistake, and colleges notice as they keep track of your performance even after receiving your application. “Admission officers can ask a student to explain a drop in grades and can revoke an offer of admission if not satisfied with the response,” according to the College Board.

How can you combat this so-called malady? Here are four steps to help nip senioritis in the bud and help your pre-college student to continue to impress their top college choices:

1. Enroll in engaging pre-college courses. By the last semester of senior year, students will have fulfilled the majority of the necessary classes to graduate. Why not encourage them to take a Pre-College course or two that sparks their interest and could even help them choose a major? Electives can challenge students academically and impress college admissions on their transcript.

2. Find an interesting internship or independent study opportunity. Boost their transcript while learning something new and exploring an area of study. Students can learn valuable skills, such as time management, organization and self-discipline before being released into the independent world of college.

3. Set achievable short- and long-term goals. Stay on track during the final months of high school. Short-term goals, such as earning a high grade on an essay, and long-term goals, like raising their GPA, will help them keep their head in the academic game. Keep a daily checklist of these goals.

4. Have fun and find time to relax. The end of high school, waiting to hear back from colleges, and saying goodbye to friends and family can be a stressful time for high school students. Remind them to take care of their body and mind by spending time with friends and family, attending sporting events and extracurricular activities, and looking for “me” time through self-reflection and goal planning.

Learn more about UVM’s Summer Academy and Pre-College courses.