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Mid-Year Grades

January 29, 2013 by

Admit It!  If it’s not one thing with this application process, it’s another.  But we swear, this is the last part.  It’s time to submit your first-semester or mid-year grades.  So here’s the who, what, where, when and why of that process.

Who: Who should submit mid-year grades?  All freshman applicants (including those who applied Early Decision and who were admitted or deferred).  Most high school counseling offices are very familiar with this process, but it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to ensure that they have everything they need to submit your first-semester grades.  While many counseling offices will automatically send your first-semester grades to all of the schools to which you applied, others might require a release form or need a list of the schools that you applied to.  Make sure you know your school’s policy and follow up with your counselor if you have any questions.

What: What do you need to submit?  We’re not sticklers for a particular type of presentation.  Whatever works for your school works for us.  We will accept an updated official transcript which now includes grades from your senior year or a grade/progress report (generally just a listing of your current courses and the grades you’ve earned so far).  The Common Application’s MidYear Report form (pdf) can be included but certainly does not have to be.

Where: Mid-Year grades can be submitted directly to our office using our general USPS mailing address.  They do not need to be directed to anyone in particular.

When: Submit your mid-year grades as soon as they are available.  We have no particular due date since schools end their grading periods at various times.  Don’t worry if yours are delayed a bit due to snow days or the like.  Just submit them as soon as you can.  Generally, if they arrive by early to mid-February, they will get here in plenty of time.  For those on a quarter system, submit your first and second quarter grades.  For those on a trimester system, submit your first trimester grades.  If your second trimester grades are in by early February, submit those also.

Why: Why do we want to see your mid-year grades?  There are numerous reasons.  Generally, your senior year includes your most rigorous courses.  Being able to review your performance in these upper-level classes (often closely associated with college courses) helps us better assess how well prepared you are for college-level academics.  Or, maybe your grades took a dip during junior year.  Being able to see whether or not you’ve rebounded during senior year tells us about your work ethic, study skills and academic growth.  Mid-year grades are just one more piece to this complicated jigsaw puzzle we call a college application.  The more pieces we have, the fuller picture of you we get.

We’ve been seeing a lot of questions on various social media forums about mid-year grades.  Hopefully this answers many of them.  If not, as always, feel free to pose any additional questions by using the comments feature.

Wendy Livingston ’03, M.Ed. ‘09
Associate Dean of Admission


  • Faith says:

    If we were accepted early, will we get any notification that our midyear grades were sent/not sent? My school does it automatically, but will there be any confirmation on your end?

  • Admit It! says:

    @Faith, no we don’t confirm receipt of mid-year grades. We would recommend just checking with your counselor to ensure they were sent.

  • Ebi Doubeni says:

    Thank you so much for this insight post but i was wondering would my mid trimester grades be considered late because they do not come out until early march because my trimester ends at the end of february

  • Anon M says:

    Most my grades for first semester were good, I received all A’s and a B in an AP first quarter, however although I maintained all my A’s (which includes in classes such as APs and calculous), my B has slipped into what will most likely be a C+ for the quarter and probably a B-/C+ for the semester. However, the reason for the slip was because not only is it considered the hardest class my school offers (based on the work and the teacher who teaches it), which is noted in my counselor’s recommendation, my mom has a crippling chronic disease, and at the beginning of second quarter, she contracted a MRSA infection. Due to her suppressed immune system, she had to be removed from all of her medications for her disease, which has left me to help with most tasks around to house and has cut significantly into the time I could dedicate to school work. I plan on emailing a more formal version of this explanation once our grades are actually released, but does this sound like something that the admissions committee would be likely to forgive ? Especially considering my performance in other classes and continuing upward trend in grades.

  • Admit It! says:

    @Ebi Doubeni, no need to send mid-trimester grades. Just be sure your first-trimester grades are sent (since they should be available) and we consider those equivalent to those who have first-semester grades.

    @Anon, we can never say whether or not something will impact an application (or “be foregiven”) until we have the entire application in front of us. What we can tell you is one grade in one course will never alone make or break a decision we make. You are welcome to send an explanation for your mid-year grades to your regional dean (or just type them out and ask that your counselor attach them to what they send if that’s possible).

  • Patrick says:

    To be honest, I am freaking out about this. Last year at this point my grades weren’t as good as what I finished with. I always, no matter what I do, seem to start out slow, yet finish strong. That’s not to say I did bad this semester, just that It won’t compare well to my preformance at the end of my junior year. How much do midterm grades count, especially if my worst grade is AP calculus? P.S. I was accepted through early decision.

  • Admit It! says:

    @Patrick, for those who were admitted ED, we simply ensure that no drastic downturn has occurred from where your grades were in November (meaning that your first-semester grades don’t vary greatly from those we saw on your grades 9-11 transcript). If you have multiple Cs or any D or F we might reach out to you to explore why this is. My guess is your grades aren’t going to warrant that.

    However, a good reminder to all that our offers of admission are contingent upon continuing to maintain high standards of academic excellence and personal conduct and completion of all work in progress.

  • Marcus Williams says:


    I am a deferred applicant. I know mid-term grades are required for all deferred applicants but are they judged differently or viewed through a different perspective because we are deferred not accepted.


  • Admit It! says:

    @Marcus, we evaluate all mid-year grades in the same light regardless of what deadline a student applied under. We’re just looking to see how you’re progressing in your course work.

  • Aminatta says:

    Hello, I was admitted through the ED process, my grades for both 1st and second quarter were great (almost As with one B+) however, as we were assessed quarterly in lieu of midterm exams, there were some bad tests that I had and now I am afraid of how that will affect my contingent admittance, I guess I will have a higher B+ and B ratio with less A’s because I’m a humanities brain enrolled in a mathematics heavy schedule (I did it to challenge myself I guess) Do I need to alert my regional dean or the admission committee formerly by email? Or written letter?

  • Admit It! says:

    @Aminatta, if you wish to reach out to your regional dean you are welcome too. Everyone should be aware however that while we absolutely encourage students to stay strong and continue to work at very high levels throughout their senior year, picking up a few more Bs will not jeapordize your admission status.

  • Eric says:

    Hello, I was just wondering how much weight is put on the midterm grades as I had a little slip in calculus this semester.

  • Admit It! says:

    @Eric, there’s no assigned weight given to mid-year grades. They’re one component of many, just like other components. While we do joke that you can’t spell calculus without two Cs (http://blogs.wm.edu/2008/07/16/you-cant-spell-calculus-without-2-cs/), we do encourage students to keep up their grades through their senior year. As we mentioned in a few other comments on this blog, one grade will not make or break an application on its own but we wouldn’t ask for mid-year grades if we didn’t value them.

  • Jen says:

    Hi – Just want to clarify about how you want to receive midyear grades. It looks like you only want them mailed or faxed, right? Not e-mailed? I know you don’t confirm receiving them, but will you send an e-mail if you don’t have them when you’re making a decision? (Last shot to help a deferred decision!)

  • Jacob says:

    If we were admitted ED, when will we know if we were chosen to be a Monroe or Sharpe scholar?

  • Admit It! says:

    @Jen, we prefer they be mailed if at all possible. Faxes and emails aren’t official. If we do not have a student’s mid-year grades and we feel they are essential to making a decision we will contact the student’s school to get them.

    @Jacob, we notify all Monroe Scholar recipients via letter in mid-to-early March (that includes ED students). Sharpe is something you apply for in May and is selected by a different office so that process isn’t under our jurisdiction.

  • Amir says:

    I am freaking out about this, when will we know if we were chosen to be a Monroe or Sharpe scholar?

  • Admit It! says:

    @Amir, we answered your questions in our last comment response. Just review our comment from Jan. 31 at 11:18am.

  • Michelle says:

    Hi, I’m a bit worried about how my mid-year grades will affect my application. I have gotten straight As for most of my high school career but this semester I may have one or two B-pluses. Although my schedule was a lot harder this year, with a lot of AP and dual-enrollment classes, I’m worried that it will look like I slacked off. Will this look bad on my application?

  • Admit It! says:

    @Michelle, as we’ve mentioned a few times in response to questions posted on this blog, we don’t expect perfection. A few B+s does not make an otherwise admissable student un-admissable. No need to panic.

  • Anon says:

    Hi. I received my midyear grades and received all A’s and one B- (in an AP class that is considered the hardest course my school offers). Do you think I should write an email explaining the B- to the admissions committee?

  • Admit It! says:

    @Anon, no need to explain a B- (our guess is it’s in AP Calc — are we right?). They happen.

    We fear instead of assuaging peoples’ fears with this blog, we’ve accidentally heightened them. As we’ve said in several comments, we’re not hypercritical and we’re not out to get you. One grade (whether it’s an A+ or a C+) is not by itself going to make or break your application. Mid-year grades play a role but they are one part of many just like all the other application components.

  • Anxious Deferred says:

    I am a deferred student. A little over a week ago I sent an update to my regional admissions dean; my midyear grades were also sent. Have deferred applications already been reviewed? If they have, how will my new information be considered in the R.D. process? Thanks again for all the help and all the posts!

  • Admit It! says:

    @Anxious Deferred, we will be reviewing deferred applications soon before we begin our committee process so whatever information you sent should be able to be reviewed.

  • Anxious Deferred says:

    Thank You!

  • Marcus Williams says:

    I am a deferred applicant as well, does this mean that deferred applicants are reviewed again for decision before the regular pool of applicants?

  • Admit It! says:

    @Marcus Williams, deferred students are reviewed towards the end of our regular decision process. We will have reviewed most regular decision students before reviewing deferred students but there will be some regular decision students who we review after we review defers just because of when files complete.

  • Marcus Williams says:

    Awesome, thank you for your response! I just have one more question. As an applicant and a curious high school senior, how does the review process take place when it reaches the committee? Is it all the admission deans and do they each have a copy of the applicants resume as the respectable regional dean talks about that applicant?
    Thanks for your time!

  • Admit It! says:

    @Marcus Williams, basically a group of deans gets together and we review all the applicants from a particular region who were not a clear decision prior to the Committee process. We actually project application materials onto a big-screen tv so we can all review the person’s credentials together.

  • Marcus Williams says:

    Oh okay, just something I always wondered. Thanks again, your posts are great and so helpful!

  • Admit It! says:

    @Marcus Williams, no problem. We’re happy to help.