The common application identifies which schools require mid-year reports. The student's high school guidance office is responsible for sending mid-year reports. Below is an example of the report.
If a school does not require a mid-year report but the student's first-semester senior year work will improve their application, the student should ask their guidance office to send the report to their schools.
Most Selective Schools - Almost all require a mid-year report. A few exceptions - RISD, Tulane, and Vanderbilt
Very Selective Schools - A mixed bag of requirements, but most very selective schools require mid-year reports.
Moderately sized and Traditional Private Colleges - A mixed bag of requirements. Check the common application
Flagship State Schools - Most do not. Exceptions include very selective state universities, such as Chapel Hill, UVA, Georgia Tech. The University of Kentucky and NC State also require
Senior year first-semester grades are the closest reported grades with the most rigorous curriculum close to freshman year at college. Slack off at your own peril!