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Articles / Applying to College / Should I Send First-Quarter Senior Grades to Colleges?

Nov. 13, 2020

Should I Send First-Quarter Senior Grades to Colleges?

Should I Send First-Quarter Senior Grades to Colleges?

Polina Zimmerman/Pexels

I just got my first quarter grades and they're straight A's, which are better grades than I've had in the past. I already submitted transcripts and applications to six schools, but should I send them these grades to boost my application? If so, do I just send an email or should I have my counselor send a transcript?

Congratulations on your great quarter! While the grapevine may insist that junior grades are the ones that "count" in admission offices, your senior grades are actually just as important ... especially the ones from the first semester. So if any of your six colleges will be making decisions before the end of the semester, you should ask your counselor to send your first-quarter transcript right away. If you've applied anywhere via an Early Decision or Early Action option, admission officials may have contacted your counselor already to request those grades — or they might soon — so you're wise to be proactive and get them sent now.

If, however, you're way ahead of schedule and have submitted your applications to colleges with deadlines in January or later, where applications won't be reviewed until your entire first semester is over, you don't need to send only the first-quarter grades, but you definitely should check in with your counselor as soon as the semester ends in order to expedite a Mid-Year Report to all your colleges ... especially if your second-quarter grades are as good as your first!

About the Ask the Dean Column

Sally Rubenstone is a veteran of the college admissions process and is the co-author of three books covering admissions. She worked as a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years and has also served as an independent college counselor, in addition to working as a senior advisor at College Confidential since 2002. If you'd like to submit a question to The Dean please email us at editorial@collegeconfidential.com.

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Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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