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Thoughts about Grades in high school, college, and in getting that job after college

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Timothy Parros

As our students are beginning to get their results from all of their hard work in applying to colleges it has gotten me thinking about how much work really has to go into the application process. It begins early now, as early as 9th grade, and we find that our parents are concerned that their children are engaged in a race for better grades and more activities. Sometimes, we also see these same parents pushing themselves, and their children, to higher levels of anxiety as they look toward college. I am also astounded with the number of qualified applicants selective and highly selective colleges are receiving- this will also be a record-breaking year at the University of Michigan EA (early action).

Local competition at every high school is immense and families are feeling stressed and worried that their student might not get into that dream college. It is our job to take some of this stress out of the equation and to help both the student and their parents throughout the college application process.

A recent survey of college admissions officers, 2018 State of College Admission report published by The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), found that nothing carries more weight in deciding which applicants to accept into their college than high school grades.

Why is this so important?

Research shows that a student’s high school grade-point average is consistently a better predictor than test scores of a student’s likely performance in college. For colleges, it’s not about whether those students will get good grades in college, but rather good grades get students to stay in school and earn a diploma. Grades might not matter in securing that first job, but a diploma does. So, really all of the apprehension of getting the best grades and pushing students to achieve as much as possible is not the end of the story, it’s just the beginning.

I am able to talk to at our former students regularly, asking them how they are doing in college, and I get many different responses. But, I can say the overall theme is that the majority of them have realized how hard some classes are, and all look forward to the end goal of graduation from college, enjoying the time along the way. This has made me even more convinced that there are so many factors to consider when applying to college and how happy we are at Parros that we care so much about this for all of our students.

I had to smile this week when one of our students that attends a highly selective university told us, with a smile, how hard her biology class was and she was happy to end the semester with a C. This was one of our 4.0 high school students who worked just as hard for that C as she did for all of her previous A’s. She explained that the grade didn’t bring her down, she knows how hard college is, and she is happy that she passed the class!

As we continue to get news from our students of their acceptance for EA and regular decision in the new year, we look forward to starting the process with our high school juniors in January. We know that the future will bring more competition to get accepted into that dream school and we are ready! Please feel free to contact us for a review of your college application needs.

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