Saturday, April 27, 2013

Grade Inflation

I don’t know if I buy into the overall point of this article (that there is a correlation* between rising grades and rising tuition at US colleges), but the graph is fascinating. I regret that I attended college in the wrong era – it appears that today one is pretty much guaranteed an A (or at worst, a B) just for showing up.

Of course, I’m not sure it would have helped me that much, since showing up was my problem – I much preferred to sleep.
Conclusion: Across a wide range of schools, As represent 43% of all letter grades, an increase of 28 percentage points since 1960 and 12 percentage points since 1988. Ds and Fs total typically less than 10% of all letter grades. It is likely that at many selective and highly selective schools, undergraduate GPAs are now so saturated at the high end that they have little use as a motivator of students and as an evaluation tool for graduate and professional schools and employers.”
I never used grades as much of a hiring tool anyway, but I recall being horrified by the poorly-written resumes and letters from college graduates that I would be forced to read when hiring entry-level employees.

I imagine that what young college graduates will find is that employers will pay less and less attention to degrees as an indicator of job-readiness. Which will mean that that piece of paper for which they paid so much money will decrease in value.

* Clarification: There is another graph showing that there is a correlation, but my comment was intended to mean that I'm not convinced that the correlation is more than coincidental.

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