Penn State Students Allowed to Change the Grades They Earn for Spring Classes

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Penn State announced this week that students will be permitted to change their spring semester grades after they receive them. The approach marks a substantial departure from grading policies also being adopted by universities and colleges around the country this week in response to the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.

According to a report by Campus Reform, students at Penn State will now have the ability to change their grades at the conclusion of the Spring semester. The new grading policy was adopted this week by Penn State administrators in response to difficulties that students are facing as a result of the Chinese virus pandemic.

The new grading policy was detailed on a “Q&A” section on the Penn State website. After receiving their grades for the spring semester, students will be permitted to change their grades to a “SAT,” which means that the student passed the course,” or a “Z,” which means that the student will retake the course in the future without penalty.

Students will have the choice to receive a “SAT” notation (in lieu of a letter grade of “C” or better); a “V” instead of the letter grade “D”; or a “Z” instead of a letter grade “F” — all with the notation on transcripts indicating the extraordinary circumstances we all are dealing with this semester. The alternative grades will not impact a students’ GPA in either direction but will still count toward credits achieved and progression of semester standing, which will help in the continuation of our students’ academic careers. This is important for helping students navigate many processes, from maintaining financial aid to maintaining a certain semester standing when purchasing student football tickets.

Penn State is not the only institution to consider or adopt new grading policies in response to the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak. Breitbart News reported last week that Northwestern University would make final exams optional for all students. Students at Harvard and Yale have petitioned to adopt a new grading system for this semester that would prevent students from failing their courses.

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