Are you curious about if excessive absences in school will affect your college acceptance? Are you curious if absences matter in college? If either piques your interest, you are in the right place.
In high school, students and even parents are often penalized for poor attendance. Chronic truancy can often lead to fines or jail time for parents. Due to the seriousness of high school attendance, it is natural to think the same thing will be in place for colleges.
We will answer all your questions about your attendance and what you can expect from high school. All you have to do is keep reading.
How Much Does Attendance Count for in College?
If you think someone will be taking attendance for every class you have and penalizing you when you are not there, you are sadly mistaken. College is very different from high school. Though a school wants you to pass your classes and ultimately get your degree, payment for your semester will have already been collected by the start of class. College is your first step into the real world, and college is one place where your freedom begins.
Though some professors may have a mandate on how many classes you can miss or have penalties for being late, like locking the door and forcing you to miss any quizzes, this is not mandated by the university, and your absences will not show on your college transcript.
Be sure to read over your syllabi for any classes you have. Professors will generally spell out any attendance requirements within this document and let you know the stipulations for grading. Unlike high school, you are on your own. Your parents are not there to coddle you and ensure you get up on time. This is one of the most important reasons you should pick a schedule that fits your lifestyle.
Though some professors may do obnoxious things like locking the door so you can not enter the classroom after a certain time or not allowing makeup quizzes for days you missed, attendance is generally not calculated anywhere in your grades. However, when asking for extra help or even extra credit, a professor may consider how often you were in class before helping you.
Overall, attendance being a factor in your grades shouldn’t matter. You attend and pay for college for the sole purpose of getting an education; do not do yourself a disservice.
Does Your High School Attendance Affect College Acceptance?
Similarly, high school attendance will likely not significantly affect your acceptance to college. Schools will provide their criteria for acceptance, and attendance is generally not a factor at all. The criteria for college admission are selective enough to weed out students who have likely had large attendance problems. Though, some schools may look at your attendance to get an idea of your level of commitment.
What If You Have Excessive Absences?
If you are worried about having excessive absences in school, it may be a good idea to talk to your college admissions counselor about how important attendance is in acceptance. If this is a large factor, it may be a great idea to use your college application or essay to explain why the absences occur. If there is a creative way to tie your reasoning into your essay, this may be an opportunity not only to explain your absences but also to write a heartfelt essay.
In short, do absences affect your acceptance in college? The answer is yes, but more than likely, no. If you are worried, it never helps to double-check your prospective college admission office.
What Do Colleges Prioritize Then? What Do They Look For?
Though attendance is important in high school, let’s be honest: doing great in school means showing up. Therefore, schools prioritize an abundance of other factors that will have you on your toes. The list below shows several factors that have a greater chance of affecting your grades than attendance.
1. Transcript & GPA
One of the most important things schools look at is your GPA. This gives them the most complete picture of your statistical academic achievement. Your transcript is your high school summary. It will generally show your rank in the class, GPA, credits, and all grades received.
2. Course Rigor
Though your GPA is a factor, obtaining a 4.0 in all of the easiest classes doesn’t compare to receiving a 4.0 in some of the hardest classes. Colleges want to see not only how much you have challenged yourself but also how well you have risen to the challenge. Honors and AP courses are a great way to show this. Your AP test scores may also be taken into account when considered for admission.
Colleges want to see students who are multifaceted. They want to know that you not only learned as much as you could but you grew socially as well. Extracurriculars show that you can handle commitment and will dedicate yourself inside and outside of the classroom. Students often think this refers only to sports, but it does not. Things like student government, drama club, and a variety of other activities are considered. Holding a position in these organizations also demonstrates your leadership ability.
4. Standardized Test Scores
With COVID-19, we have seen that some universities have lifted their standardized test requirement, and students have the option to submit scores if they desire. If the scores are submitted, they will be considered in your application package.
5. Community Involvement
Colleges want to know that you are not only academically driven but that you care about the world around you. This may be more relevant to some schools that put an emphasis on community involvement. However, it is generally a factor for all schools. Community involvement shows that you not only care but that you are passionate about progressing the community.
All of these things are items that colleges consider when deciding who is acceptable for admission. These are traditionally some of the most important items to consider, and you should work at keeping them in great order.
How Important is Attendance While in College?
This question is relative to who is asking. Knowing your learning style and level of dedication is essential to understanding if you can afford to attend class less often than not. Going into your experience, you should expect to be in class every day or at least in every scheduled class. Though you may be able to thrive on your own without your teacher’s lectures, having the in-class experience is invaluable.
Some classes, like labs, will mandate your attendance and be conducive to actually obtaining your degree. Classes for clinical students may also often take place in hospitals or institutions. A threshold of hours is often required for graduation.
Importance of Attending Classes
Do not just take our word for it. Attending class is important for several reasons, not just because you paid for it. The list below should persuade you to attend all your classes if you were on the fence.
1. Your professors may not utilize the textbook
You may think that you can simply read your textbook if you miss a class. However, that may not always be the case. Some professors do not rely on the textbook and will give exams and quizzes based on their lectures. That is not something you can find anywhere else.
2. Socialization with Classmates
Going to class gives you the opportunity to meet with your classmates and share knowledge and experience. It gives you the option to have individuals who can help you when you are struggling and the ability to help them as well. Going to class also introduces you to people you may not have previously met.
3. Notes & Clues
Going to class allows you to take your own notes without relying on someone else. Being present for the lecture allows you to enhance your knowledge and ask questions as needed without worrying if someone missed something. Attending class also gives you the opportunity to potentially record your lectures and receive any exam hints from your professor.
4. Never miss a quiz
Like any class, teachers will often give pop quizzes whenever their heart desires. You do not want to play your XBOX at home when an impromptu quiz or assignment is given. Consistently missing assignments takes away from your grade potential and your credibility if additional credit is needed.
5. You just learn more
Even with all of the reasons listed, the most important is that you just learn more. Nothing beats being in class. You get to hear the professor firsthand, you get to interact during lectures, and you get information that you would not have if you were at home. Being in class provides a different experience. COVID-19 has kept students two years to be at home; why would you miss out on being in class again?
Wrapping Things Up: Do Absences Affect Your College Acceptance?
Does attendance affect college acceptance? To be honest, it is not likely. Colleges often do not consider attendance to be a factor for admission. Instead, there are several other things that they may consider, like standardized test scores, GPA, and even community involvement. These things provide a better view of your academic history and character.
College gives students more freedom, and attendance is not mandatory for your college course. However, attending classes would be better for you in the long run. Not only would you get to experience the lecture firsthand, but you would get to participate and take your own notes. Nothing beats the in-class experience. Go to class!