Cedar Crest College newspaper since 1923
Paula Wesson, Lifestyles Editor
I’m certainly not the only student who would have a higher GPA if Cedar Crest used a traditional Grade Point Average.
By that, I meant that most universities, colleges, and even high schools give a 4.0 for As, 3.0 for Bs, and so on. All grades from 90% to 100% count equally as an A or 4.0. At Cedar Crest however, 92% counts as an A- or 3.7 GPA, whereas 94% counts equally to 100% or 4.0.
Supporters of such a system argue that a 92% is different from a 100%. Thus, a student’s GPA should reflect their true grade.
While that’s true, I don’t think this system adequately does so.
If a 92% counts less than a 94%, then a 94% should be less than a 100%. Yet, earning both a 94% and a 100% count the same as 4.0.
More importantly, students in several majors have expressed concern because a C grade is acceptable but a C- is not. For example, nutrition majors must earn a C, but not a C-, in Survey of Organic Chemistry. Psychology majors must earn a B, but not a B-, in Experimental Methods.
Even good students may earn a minus grade from time to time. It does not mean that they should not be able to go on to the next level course. Earning a B- does not mean that student does not understand the course material. Nor does it mean that the student cannot handle the schoolwork.
It is understandable that students who earn a failing grade cannot move on to the next level, but a B- or a C- is not failing.
Furthermore, Cedar Crest’s system of counting minus grades as less than a letter grade hurts all students’ GPAs. Granted, your future employer usually does not require a transcript, but a lower GPA does affect students.
Students with a merit scholarship need to maintain a 3.0 GPA. Scholarships are not meant to be easy, but lower GPAs also affect student athletes, who are required to attend study sessions based on their grades.
Lower GPAs can also affect life after graduation. A student can graduate with Cedar Crest with a GPA below 3.0, but that same student will not be accepted to Cedar Crest’s masters programs. Students need to earn a 3.0 for admission to graduate school. Each program may also have grade requirements for certain courses.
Students who do not plan to attend graduate school may choose to participate in an internship. Students in a dietetic internship still need to have a 3.0. Even students who have a GPA above 3.0 do not get accepted into the program. They only accept the students with the highest GPAs.
Earning a minus in a few classes is enough to prevent students from participating in an internship. Some professions, such as dietetics and psychologists, require students to intern before receiving licensure or similar titles.
Cedar Crest’s method of calculating GPAs lowers GPAs, which in turn hurts students during and after college.