Back in the day when I was an entry level admissions officer at the University of Pennsylvania, I wanted to be completely prepared for every single admissions committee. I used to spend hours the night before and in the wee hours of the morning going over every single student I was supposed to present to the committee. Sometimes, I had over 200 students to present in a matter of a few hours. I didn't want to be unprepared.
One day during my first year, I was presenting a student in the Early Decision round that I desperately wanted to get admitted. He was such a great kid, but I knew the competition was stiff and his grades junior year had gone from all A's to a number of B's. When I got to committee that day to advocate for an acceptance, I thought I was ready for anything. As I shared all of the wonderful things about the student, my old boss who was chairing the committee, was flipping through the student's application. When he got to the student's transcript and saw all the B's from junior year, he stopped me mid-sentence and said, "Sara, do you have his first quarter grades from senior year?"
"When the competition heats up, the one thing that can help a student in the early round is a strong showing during the first quarter of senior year." TWEET THIS