“Senioritis” is the colloquial term for high school students losing energy and concern for school in the spring of their senior year. After those college acceptance letters start coming in, many high school seniors can’t be bothered to show up to class on time or at all.

Is senioritis possible to prevent?

Fear makes for the best prevention, but students are jaded to those tactics. Teachers and parents might warn students that in rare cases, some colleges and universities have rescinded admission to students whose performance in high school sharply drops. The fear this can instill, though marginal, may motivate some students to maintain their stride. Far more, though, dismiss this fear as irrational and decide the fun of senioritis is worth the modest risks.

Assuming that senioritis is natural, what can be done about it? Should anything be done at all?

There’s no right or wrong answer, but (beyond the unlikely event of rescinded admission) here are a couple of things to consider:

AP and IB Exams: High scores on these difficult subject tests can translate to college credit. Since they’re administered at the end of the year, avoid senioritis by studying for them!

Lost scholarship search time: Getting into college is important, but finding a way to pay for college, or offset the cost of college, is even more important for most families. Avoid senioritis by using the spring of your senior year to search for—and apply for—scholarships. Use FastWeb to find scholarships right for you, but don’t forget local scholarships! Get in touch with your high school counselor to ask about what’s offered.

Check out our “Winning College Scholarships for High Schoolers” course on Udemy for a great way to burn off some of that Senioritis by putting it into a high-profit source of college funds.

Some, despite its perceived risks, consider senioritis to be a good thing.

In “In Praise of Senioritis,” Jay Mathews asks in The Washington Post, “Isn’t the second half of senior year, with college applications turned in—in some cases with an admission letter in your pocket—the perfect time to try out a balanced life?”

He has a point. After all, the kind of thinking college requires isn’t cultivated by memorizing facts and figures for a final. For most college students, Mathews rightly observes, “[t]he important part of the learning process is not pounding in the material but thinking it over, talking about it, coming up with new and intriguing ways of connecting it to the rest of the world.”

In moderation, then, might senioritis be beneficial? For students who’ve worked hard and gotten into good colleges and universities with scholarships, who are prepared for AP and IB exams, the answer may be yes!

The key, as is often the case in life, is balance.

Additional Resources: “Winning College Scholarships for High Schoolers” Video Course

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