What to Do If Your Satisfactory Academic Performance Drops

Elizabeth Hoyt

March 26, 2017

What to Do If Your Satisfactory Academic Performance Drops
Find out what to do if your satisfactory academic performance drops.
You’ve worked hard. You have applied to colleges, many of which you have been accepted to. However, something went wrong senior year. The truth is, not everything is perfect. Not everyone can be “on” all the time and, perhaps, you could have made some choices that were better. Maybe you even had to deal with something serious or traumatic in your life during the semester, such as a death in the family, divorce or a serious injury – hopefully not, though these things are unfortunate realities in life. Though your direction may seem off course, not all hope is lost. Don’t assume that your chances of getting into college have disappeared. They haven’t – it’s just time for some damage control.
Here are some options of how to approach your situation and move forward:

Deal with It Directly

The college admissions officers who read and reviewed your college application are professionals and will undoubtedly notice the drop in your academic performance. That means it’s better if you’re the first to address it, rather than waiting for them to bring it to your attention.
Think about it – if you’re the first to bring it up, you’re able to set the tone, rather than allowing anyone to make any negative or untrue assumptions regarding your behavior. Utilize the essay portion of your essay or submit an additional statement (keeping it brief) that describes the circumstances. Only utilize this option, however, under the circumstances in which a serious life situation occurred. This includes situations such as death, divorce and serious injuries but does not include situations like break ups or arguments with friends.
Though those scenarios may feel life altering, college admissions officers will likely not see it that way. Be sure not to exaggerate or dramatize your situation in any way, a brief explanation is all that is necessary.

Take Responsibility

When you decide to take responsibility for your actions, you’re showing the admissions officers that you have learned from your mistakes. Instead of making excuses (which admissions officers loathe, by the way), it’s always a better route to describe how you’re dealing with the situation and proactively taking steps to improve your academic situation. Be sure to maintain strong themes of optimism, determination and perseverance throughout your entire statement.

Improve Your Academic Performance

This is absolutely the best route and, ultimately, can be paired with the other methods as well. The best way to convince any admissions officer that your drop was temporary is to improve academically. One semester’s grades are all it takes to show improvement and you’ll have progress on your side! Furthermore, they’re more likely to believe you when you say you want to improve if you actually start to show actual improvement, even if it’s just a little bit. Remember, you have to start somewhere! As long as you take steps towards getting back on the right track and addressing the situation as soon as possible, you’ll be able to show the admissions officers that you are capable of attending college. Keep in mind, the sooner you address the problem, the easier it will be to get back on the path to success!

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