Admitted at ED?: advice for approaching the rest of your senior year
Growing up, whenever my brother and I would get to slapping each other in the back of the ’85 silver family Pontiac on long trips, my dad used to bellow “don’t make me stop this car!!” Thing was, we knew he would never do it because stopping the car to lay into us meant sacrificing the ever compelling need to make great time. It was a Captain Ahab-like crusade for maximum interstate efficiency and nothing would deter the man.
So to breach the topic of rescinding offers of admission because an admitted student phoned in the remainder of their senior year, I want to intentionally set a contrast with this allegory. When we say in the admission letter: “Please note that your enrollment at Vanderbilt is contingent upon graduating from high school with your class, and maintaining your current level of academic performance and good citizenship” it is another way of saying, “don’t make us stop this car” (and it’s not like it was in the family Pontiac, even though it is rare, it has happened before).
All admitted students to Vanderbilt will be asked to submit a final transcript once it comes available and it never fails that we see a very small handful of students who packed up the intellectual circus a little early that last semester. At that point our office has a decision to make, and it is a no-one-size-fits-all determination. My general advice is succinct, if not completely predictable, don’t risk it. You’re smart people, you’ve been successful in school and in life for a while now, what’s one more semester (plus eight actually, or twelve for a masters, or sixteen for the M.D., or . . . well, you get my point)?
- If you are applying ED2 or Regular, you are encouraged to send in a mid-year report (you can find on Common App). Although it is not required, it can be helpful to us in our admissions review. If you’ve been admitted under ED1, there’s no need to submit a mid-year report.
- There’s no magic GPA line in the sand.
- A common question often revolves around lightening the academic rigor in that last semester. Again there is no-one-size-fits-all approach but our philosophy centers around the idea that since the rigor of your course schedule plays such an important role in the intial admit decision, we would still like to see you challenging yourself throughout the remainder of high school. This is more about you being better prepared for the rigors of the Vanderbilt classroom than it is just “getting in.”
Have a great weekend.