A report revealed that the vast majority of grades given to Yale students last school year were A’s, causing concern of “grade inflation” post-coronavirus lockdowns.
The report by economics professor Ray Fair, was first reported in the Yale Daily News last week, showing that 78.97 percent of grades handed to undergraduates in the 2022-2023 school year were A’s.
Fair told the student newspaper that grades began rising in 2020 when schools shut down due to the pandemic, but the trend is still continuing.
“Some thought [the coronavirus effect] would be temporary, but it has more or less persisted. [It’s] probably the faculty going easier on students because COVID was a pain,” the professor said.
The grade statistics were a surprise to students and professors, with some voicing their concern to the New York Times.
“When we act as though virtually everything that gets turned in is some kind of A — where A is supposedly meaning ‘excellent work’ — we are simply being dishonest to our students,” philosophy professor Shelly Kagan told the outlet.
Gustavo Toledo, a political science student, said he is worried that the high grades are hurting more than helping.
“If Yale and other Ivy League institutions start getting these reputations for grade inflation, students who were already feeling pressured to get these high G.P.A.s will then feel that their work is sort of devalued,” Toledo said. “This obviously doesn’t help.”
Fair’s report also revealed “large differences” in grades given across different subjects, with a whopping 92.06 percent of Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies students earning A-range grades compared to 52.39 percent of students in economic courses.
Dean of College Pericles Lewis told Fox News that the university shared the report to “provide transparency to the university’s community.”
“Yale students are admitted through a highly competitive process. It is not surprising that they are smart and well-prepared and therefore tend to earn high grades. In general, instructors determine the grading policies for their own classes, individually. And because classes vary so widely by type, size, and subject, guidelines vary within departments and among instructors,” he said in a statement.
Yale isn’t the only elite institution that appears to be inflating its grades.
An October report from Harvard University’s Undergraduate Office revealed nearly identical statistics from the 2020-2021 school year — 79 percent of grades were A’s.
Like Yale, there were differences between the grades in humanities courses compared to engineering and science courses.
“The proportion of A-range grades given in the 2020-21 academic year varied significantly by division: 73 percent in the Arts and Humanities, 65 percent in both the Sciences and Social Sciences, and 60 percent in courses at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences,” the Harvard Crimson reported.