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Tello shares advice to finish school year strong

Bethany Pouliot | The Feather Online

Evangelina Tello shares her advice about finishing the school year strong to avoid a rescinded college letter.

New campus academic advisor Evangelina Tello continues the occasional column, College Corner, for The Feather Online. She shares college prep advice and offers college counseling in her office. Tello can be reached via email. Her office hours are M/T/Th 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Wed/Fri., 8 -noon. She encourages students to set up appointments during these hours but has an open door policy as well. Read her first article, College Corner: Take responsibility for early applications.

Scouted prospective colleges? Check. Submitted college applications? Check. Completed FAFSA? Check. Received acceptance letter? Check. Time to sit back and relax. I can cruise now.

Wrong.

While this may be true, it can be easy for the excitement of your acceptance to cloud your judgment on how to academically wrap up your senior year. These final weeks of your high school career are the most important when it comes to preventing rescinded applications.

As seniors excitedly receive their acceptance letters, it’s easy to fall into the “senioritis” mindset which can be detrimental to a student’s plans for the college they have committed to. Senioritis affects thousands of eager-to-graduate seniors every school year. Symptoms include decreased interest in homework assignments and increased focus on social events as well as an increased risk of severe procrastination.

Once you’ve received your acceptance letter from your dream school, what could possibly go wrong? To provide our students with insight on the importance of finishing the year out strong, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and other CSUs chimed in with their advice.

Cal Poly Pomona’s outreach counselor Eduardo Reyes’ message to all seniors is to remember your acceptance may be provisional.

“Do your best to not fall into the habit of senioritis,” Reyes said. “You may be admitted, but it’s often provisional, meaning you’re still expected to finish your requirements.”

In addition, he expressed that finishing out the school year and graduating are only a piece of the larger puzzle. Students should be regularly checking into their college’s student portal to keep up to date with deadlines and other requirements.

As seniors reach the last leg of the race to attend college, it is essential that they remember to put in as much effort and motivation as they did in the beginning despite the exhausting journey. Their diligence will pay off in the end and will make the path towards transitioning from high school into college a much smoother one. — Evangelina Tello

“College is all about personal responsibility and this is one of those first steps into that,” Reyes said. “Missing a deadline because you forgot to check your portal or didn’t pay attention to the seriousness of a message can potentially be the reason to rescind your admission; so finish strong and take the process seriously.”

A student being admitted is only the first part of the admission process. They will still have to meet other requirements such as paying the enrollment confirmation deposit if necessary, submitting transcripts, submitting test scores, registering for orientation and the list goes on.

If students are still in denial of universities rescinding their acceptance, Reyes, provides a scenario from his own personal experience.

“My friend and I both got admitted into CSU, Fullerton, at the same time and he missed the transcript deadline,” Reyes said. “It ended up costing him his admission, so he had to reapply for the following year.”

As a CSU, Fullerton alumnus, Reyes wants to stress to students how crucial it is for incoming freshmen to make it a habit to check their emails and seek help if they ever have questions about any step in the process.

“Don’t rely on everything to be communicated via email, check your portal,” Reyes said. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help in the process because I know it can be intimidating, but also be sure to read everything communicated to you and read it carefully.”

Kimberly Guanzon, California State University, Chico’s, associate director of admissions provides significant information regarding courses listed on your application.

Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

Tello encourages students to ask her for help or guidance if needed.

“It is important to successfully complete all courses that were listed on the application as ‘in progress’ or ‘planned’ since most campuses admit students to their universities based on self-reported information,” Guanzon said. “Your offer of admission is only as good as the accuracy of your application and your ability to follow through with what was planned senior year.”

Guanzon warns seniors who are tempted to slack off a little during these crucial last weeks of the school year.

“Don’t slack,” Guanzon said. “Students who slack off and do not complete their senior year classes with a C or better risk having their admission rescinded. Use your senior year to continue preparing for college level coursework. Fall 2018 will be here before you know it.”

California State University, Channel Islands, contributed to this topic by touching on the fact that the CSU system looks into each accepted students’ final grades to ensure that a-g requirements are met.

Admission counselor Leo Sun detailed how there is a myth that senior year grades are not important, but for the Cal State University (CSU) system, they consider senior year grades for admission requirements.

“Use the last few weeks of school to not only earn a grade of C- or higher in the a-g courses,” Sun said, “Use them to secure a high grade point average because various forms of financial aid could be affected.”

Sun also pointed out that CSUs will look at a student’s final high school transcript to make sure they have passed their a-g courses along with a final GPA calculation.

As seniors reach the last leg of the race to attend college, it is essential that they remember to put in as much effort and motivation as they did in the beginning despite the exhausting journey. Their diligence will pay off in the end and will make the path towards transitioning from high school into college a much smoother one.

I encourage all seniors to keep up their grades in current courses and to be persistent when it comes to checking their email and logging into their student portal. If at any point there is any uncertainty, seniors are encouraged to check in with their academic counselor.

For more college corners, read College Corner: Scholarship resources and benefits and College Corner: College events for seniors this March.

Tello can be reached via email.

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