Should I Send First-Quarter Senior Grades to Colleges?

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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