Do colleges want work samples mainly from the child's senior year?
Thank you for your question! Some colleges will want samples of work, and other colleges will not. When a college asks for work samples, they may not all want the same sort of thing. In the colleges that we applied to, one wanted a written lab report from science, another wanted a math paper in the student handwriting, and a couple of colleges wanted a graded English paper. Other colleges may request a sample from other subjects. None of our college specified that the work samples had to be from senior year.
To make sure that you have any work samples that may be required, it can help to be a little bit organized. I kept a binder with a tab for each subject. I tried to collect work samples in every subject. My goal was to have a few work samples in every subject that was listed in the transcript "just in case." I figured that no matter how many colleges we applied to, even if they all asked for exactly the same thing at exactly the same time I would still have enough work samples for everyone.
If you haven't kept work samples all along in high school, then it's fine to provide them just from senior year. If you are applying to college early in the fall, then you can always create any necessary work samples that may be required ("Honey, you need to do a lab report this week, because the college needs one.") If you have kept work samples from every year of high school, then use the BEST work sample you can provide. In other words, give them the scholarship-winning essay, not the one that has red corrections allover it, and give them their best math test from their best math year, not the most recent test when they were distracted by other things.