What Is the Midyear Report for Colleges?

Colleges use midyear reports to help make admission decisions. Learn which schools use midyear reports and how you can use the report to stand out.

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by Genevieve Carlton, Ph.D.

Updated May 11, 2022

Reviewed by Lonnie Woods III

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What Is the Midyear Report for Colleges?

You've submitted your applications, confirmed that your letters of recommendation arrived, and requested your transcripts. But the college application process might not be over. Some colleges also ask for a midyear report.

What is a midyear report? The midyear report includes your grades from the first semester of your senior year of high school. Admissions counselors use the midyear report to help them decide which applicants to admit.

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Ready to start your journey?

For many schools, the midyear report plays a key role in admission decisions. As such, it's important to understand the report and know how you can use it to improve your admission chances.

What Is a Midyear Report?

Dozens of colleges require the midyear report. But what is it exactly?

The midyear report is a form that lists all your grades for the first half of 12th grade. Your high school guidance counselor fills out the report and submits it with your updated transcripts.

Colleges generally ask for midyear reports as soon as possible after the fall semester ends, with counselors typically submitting them in January or February.

While early decision applicants may need to submit a midyear report, this requirement is more common for early decision deferred applicants and regular decision applicants.

Depending on the school, the midyear report may also ask for an update from the applicant. Students can use this space to elaborate on any changes since they applied or report notable accomplishments from the past semester.

What Does a Midyear Report Include?

The midyear report mostly covers academic progress. Applicants may need to list their course schedules and grades for senior year. School counselors also list the applicant's class rank and GPA. The midyear report usually requires an updated transcript as well.

The exact information on the midyear report varies depending on the school. Many schools use the Common App midyear report. On this form, school counselors list the applicant's class rank, class size, cumulative GPA, and whether the school weighs rank and GPA. It also asks for the highest GPA in the graduating class and the student's expected graduation date.

Additionally, the midyear report asks school counselors for an update on the student. For example, the Common App form wants to know about any changes to senior-year courses — like whether the student dropped a class — and any disciplinary issues. School counselors can even change their evaluation of the applicant.

The exact questions also vary depending on the school. Bucknell University, for instance, asks school counselors for a list of courses and grades, providing an opportunity to note any changes to the applicant's academic, extracurricular, or character record.

Many midyear reports also give applicants space to provide their own updates. At MIT, applicants must submit a midyear report that's separate from the counselor's report. In addition to listing coursework and grades, applicants are expected to submit midyear updates.

These updates are a great place to let colleges know about new extracurriculars, accomplishments, or volunteer work. You can also update schools on your academic progress.

Which Colleges Require Midyear Reports?

Most U.S. colleges and universities do not require a midyear report. That said, dozens do ask for this report, including many highly selective schools.

The list of colleges that require midyear reports includes many small liberal arts colleges, Ivy League schools, and selective private colleges. A smaller number of public universities ask for midyear reports, too.

Here are some popular colleges that require midyear reports:

Colleges that require the midyear report may use the Common App form or a different form. Make sure you understand the requirements and deadlines for your schools before you apply.

How to Stand Out With Midyear Reports

College applicants can increase their admission chances with a solid midyear report. But how can you make the most of midyear reports?

First, avoid senioritis and keep your grades up. Dropping your most challenging classes may send a red flag to admissions counselors, as could a dip in your grades. If your grades do fall, use the midyear report to explain why.

Second, highlight your achievements on the midyear report. Let schools know about your most recent and biggest accomplishments. You can also use the report to preview what's next on the horizon for you. For example, you might discuss a senior project or your summer goals.

Finally, use the midyear report to express your enthusiasm for the school. This is your last chance to make a good impression before admission decisions are handed out.

Feature Image: MoMo Productions / DigitalVision / Getty Images

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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