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"Rising" sophomore (or junior or senior) is a common U.S. expression. It just means he'll be a sophomore when school resumes this fall. There's no self-promotion, it is just used by students during the summer break.

It's common? Where? I'm from the US and I was put off by the statement as well.

I live in DC and that's what every summer intern says, it avoids the "Oh did you just finish sophomore to become a junior in 3 months, or just finish freshman to become a sophomore?" follow-up question.

It's a useful expression when you deal with college students over the summer.

I've certainly heard it and used it many times. When asking "what year are you?" over the summer it's vague to just say "sophomore" or "junior" and long-winded to say "I will be a sophomore in the fall".

Google rising sophomore, "rising senior" etc. Millions of results, common usage, neutral meaning.

I googled "rising senior" and got under a million results. Even more telling, the very first result was title "What is a rising senior?"

It's also worth pointing out that I'm US born and bred, spent 7 years at universities and was unfamiliar with the term. It sounded pretentious to me.

I've heard that and used it hundreds of times. It is a completely normal expression on college campuses.

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