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Articles / Applying to College / Will P.E. Class Punishment Affect College Outcomes?

Nov. 3, 2011

Will P.E. Class Punishment Affect College Outcomes?

Question: I have never gotten in trouble but today my P.E teacher has given me detention for having earphones in my ears. I don't know whether it will become an administrative detention or just a detention from my teacher that doesn't go on my record. If it does end up becoming an administrative detention does this affect what colleges I can get into?


My best guess is that this detention will not go on your record, so you can endure whatever punishment your P.E. teacher doles out (5,000 sit ups?) and then forget about it (once you've stashed those earphones out of sight for the next P.E. class, that is).

And even if you get an official school detention that does go on your record, it will not have any negative impact on your college outcomes. You should report it on your applications and very briefly explain the situation. If you say that it was a first offense and that you have stayed out of trouble ever since, no admission officer in the universe will penalize you for wearing earphones in gym class.

So don't sweat ... except in gym, of course. ;-)

(posted 11/3/2011)

Written by

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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