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Tulane Honors Program

Saturday, January 29, 2005

It's no longer a breeze to get straight A's and B's at Princeton U

[Princeton] University policy to combat grade inflation takes effect.

With Princeton University's exam period ending last week and the spring term starting Monday, the impacts of the university's new institution-wide policy to combat grade inflation soon will be felt.
The new grading policy first went into effect this fall. It establishes a common grading standard for every academic department and program at Princeton.
Under the new standard, A's shall account for less than 35 percent of grades given in undergraduate courses, and less than 55 percent of grades given in junior and senior independent work.
At Tulane our policy (AFAIK) has always been to give the grade earned. There are, of course, some facutly who curve, but this is usually the case when the entire class has done poorly on an exam. Princeton is trying to deal with the fact significant percentages of their classes do not get any grade below an A. One report I read stated that at Harvard over 50% of their students received A's and 92% of their seniors graduated with Honors. I don't think their solution would be mine, but I can't say that I have one. I can tell you that in my classes you get the grade that you earn.


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