How to Lose Your College Acceptance

Student, Flathead High School

You made the cut, so now you’re home free—right? (Spoiler: wrong)

As college acceptance letters start to roll in, students everywhere breathe a collective sigh of relief. Once you're in you can just relax, have fun and enjoy life . . . right? Well, unfortunately, the college acceptance letter isn't a get-out-of-jail-free card for every decision you make. To help you make careful choices and still enjoy the rest of senior year, here's a list of all the ways you can lose your college acceptance.

Letting your grades slip

You've worked hard to get into your dream school. It was the light at the end of the tunnel that motivated you even when you were stressed out and discouraged. Now that you're in, what's there to work towards? Unfortunately, many students see the end of senior year as a time to relax—really relax. The impact of slacking off becomes especially evident when stellar students suddenly run the risk of failing classes. While colleges genuinely don't mind if an A student gets their first B or a B student gets a C, they may start to become wary if all of your grades are suddenly slipping, especially down to the depths of D’s and F’s. Staying on top of your classes and letting colleges know about any extenuating circumstances that might cause your GPA drop are good ways to avoid having your acceptance revoked.

Academic dishonesty

The commonly referenced “senioritis” causes many seniors to lose motivation and take the easy way out. However, some students want to be able to work less without suffering the aforementioned harm to their GPA. This can lead to cheating, plagiarism, and copied work. While many students view academic dishonesty as a minor offense because it isn't technically “illegal,” both high schools and colleges take it extremely seriously. With the rising occurrence of “cheating rings” in schools, where students buy and sell old work at high prices, schools are more than prepared to deal with this issue. There’s technology out there that can spot cheating and plagiarism in less than a minute. Don't let laziness tempt you into dishonesty, because you will get caught. And students can end up with a blemish on their permanent record that can undermine both college acceptance and job hireability in the future.

Risky or illegal decisions

With increased freedom comes increased responsibility. But many students allow the thought of their coming years of freedom to go to their head. Unfortunately, no college is going to overlook a potential student’s newly minted criminal record. Colleges have to worry about their reputations just as much as prospective students do. Similarly, colleges will find out if you suddenly create disciplinary problems in the classroom. Your college isn’t interested that kind of headache, so save the class-clown antics for outside the learning environment.

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