I hope everyone is doing well! The weather here in New Orleans has been stunning over the past few days. Springtime here is always beautiful, but for us Directors, it can sometimes have a shadow cast on it by discipline committee meetings.
See, whenever an admitted student finds themselves in trouble at school, we have to meet to discuss what happened and if it will have an impact on their admission to Tulane. This happens quite a few times every year. It is never fun! As a reminder, in every acceptance letter there is a paragraph that says:
“Your admission is contingent upon your continued academic performance and the successful completion of your senior year. Disciplinary violations or poor academic performance your senior year may result in Tulane University deferring or rescinding your offer of admission”.
Unfortunately, a handful of students each year do not listen to that message and have their acceptance rescinded for various reasons. Do NOT be in that number. Here are some common missteps to avoid (and some general life advice).
1. Don’t be a jerk! This one counts as general life advice. It’s not a hard instruction to follow and yet students disappoint us every year. It costs nothing to be a nice person! It is defeating as an admission counselor to find out that a student you supported and rooted for turned out to be a mean person. We’ve even had admitted students be rude to other admitted students or our tour guides at events! I hate it! On the flip side, if you reveal yourself to be horrible through cyberbullying, racism, sexual violence, or anything else, we will NOT have a hard time rescinding your admission. We don’t need that negativity on our campus.
Parents, the next few months are also a great time to have a conversation with your college-bound student about consent. I know it can be a difficult topic to broach, but students need to be prepared and educated as they begin their adult life.
2. Be smart on social media. Everything lives forever on the internet. While we don’t have the time or desire to browse students’ profiles, we are often sent things that we cannot ignore. The easiest way to prevent someone from screenshotting something you posted on your finsta and sending it to a college is to never post it. Use your brain, and listen to rule #1! If you are ever unsure if a joke has gone too far, err on the side of caution (I’ve learned my lesson a time or two with our TikTok). Even Harvard has had to deal with this!
3. Don’t catch a horrible case of Senioritis. The grades we admitted you with are (roughly) the grades we expect you to finish high school with. We all know that you have worked hard up to this point to successfully complete high school. Certainly enjoy your senior spring, but don’t totally throw caution into the wind. A C or two will not torpedo your application, but a total nosedive in grades can be cause for alarm. Please don’t ask us “how bad can my grades get?” or “If I get an X in this class will I be rescinded?”. That attitude to scrape by is kind of sad.
I personally got the best grades of my life the spring of my senior year. I felt so free because I knew I was going to college and the pressure was off. I promise, it isn’t that hard to maintain a similar GPA to what you’ve already been doing!
4. Don’t drop all of your classes. Similar to #3, we admitted you with a certain expectation for your senior year. If you drop from AP Calc to Honors Calc that is one thing, but dropping AP Calc for a free period is another. Check with your counselor at school and your Tulane admission counselor before you make any major changes. Most changes are not a big deal, but we don’t want you dropping all of your rigorous classes.
I also want to remind people of the value of testing on HL IB exams and AP exams. You get college credit for your scores! I know it can be tempting to blow these tests off, but you can save yourself some time and money in college by doing well on them. Check out our chart to see what classes you could get credit for!
5. Don’t go wild socially. This is an easy one. We all know Tulane and New Orleans are fun places. Don’t miss out on the chance to experience our festivals just to get drunk on White Claw at your prom. It’s not worth it! Just be smart and know you’ll have plenty of time to be social in college.
So there you have it. The secret to staying admitted to college. Just be smart, and do your best to be a good person! Not so complicated, is it?