Warns That "Senior Slump" Is No Excuse For Bad Grades
17, 2000 -- Although the college-admissions letters
said "yes," high school seniors should not let their grades
slip, admission officials at the University of Virginia advise.
in U.Va. 's Office
of Admission, like their counterparts at other top-ranked schools,
have become increasingly concerned about students ' academic
performance taking a nosedive after they have gained admission.
In an effort to ward off such poor performance, the office sends
several types of letters to newly admitted students whose mid-year
reports include poor grades.
letter, written by Dean of Admission John A. Blackburn, says in
part, "When we offered you admission, we did it with the understanding
that you would complete your senior year with distinguished grades.
I am writing
to strongly suggest that you change your pattern
as you approach your studies this semester."
are concerned that senior slump ' or senioritis '
can undermine a student 's academic performance. We take students '
final grades seriously," Blackburn said.
newly admitted students end the senior year with poor grades, they
receive from the Admission Office a letter that asks them to explain
such lackluster performance. Written by Blackburn, the letter states
"I am unable to finalize your admission to the University until
I receive a satisfactory explanation."
students ' responses are deemed unsatisfactory or if students
fail to respond, they could be denied admission, Blackburn said.
Several such students were denied admission during the last two
years, he noted.
say they don 't realize how important it is to keep their grades
up once they 've been offered admission. To help them understand,
we send out two letters one that is essentially a warning
and one that asks for an explanation if there is a bad grade,"
who complete the senior year with a decline in academic performance,
but to whom the University still extends an admission offer, often
receive another letter from Blackburn. It reads in part, "It
is important that you regain your academic focus so that you can
establish a record of excellence in your coursework here."
senior slump ' often carries over into the college years,"
Blackburn said. "Our goal is to find students who have been
serious about their school work throughout their high school years
and who, hopefully, will continue that pattern at U.Va."
more information, contact John Blackburn at (804) 982-3375 or via
Ida Lee Wootten, (804) 924-6857