Current Issue

Jan.18, 2012

Vol. 112, No. 6

Holding the line on A’s

In response to: President's Page

In regard to the President’s Page (Nov. 16), President Tilghman states that the new grading policy designed to reduce the number of A grades awarded has had only a small impact on GPAs and “no impact on the career outcomes that we are able to accurately measure.”

The key piece of evidence supplied to support this conclusion is a small decrease (from 3.45 to 3.42) in the median GPA since the new policy was implemented. However, it is unsurprising that a change specifically targeted at the top of the grading curve would not have a significant impact on the median GPA. What happened to the average GPA over the same period? How about the 75th- and 90th-percentile GPAs?

Greg Hurwitt ’82
Lake Jackson, Texas

Editor’s note: President Tilghman provided the following statement: “Greg Hurwitt ’82 raises the question of whether the small decrease in median GPA, from 3.45 for the Class of 2004 that graduated before the new grading policy was instituted to 3.42 for the Class of 2009, was also reflected in mean GPAs. The answer is yes. The mean GPA for the Class of 2004 was 3.39, and for the Class of 2009 it was 3.36. The drop in GPAs among the 75th percentile of each class was 0.05 (from 3.67 to 3.62) and 0.03 for the 90th percentile (from 3.82 to 3.79).”

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