The University of Texas recently announced that students will be permitted to reject letter grades during the 2020-2021 academic year. Under the new policy, students will be able to replace their letter grades with either a “pass” or a “fail” grade. The policy was designed to accommodate students that have been burdened by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
According to a report by Campus Reform, students at the University of Texas will be permitted to reject letter grades determined by their professors. The policy, which will apply to both the current fall and upcoming spring semesters, was adopted by administrators after a campaign by student government leaders.
Breitbart News reported in April that all eight of the Ivy League institutions adopted a lenient grading system for the spring semester. For example, students at Harvard University were forced to accept “satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory” grades in place of their standard letter grades.
University of Texas Provost Daniel Jaffe warned students that they may encounter academic or professional consequences if they choose to reject their letter grades.
“It is also important to keep in mind how classes taken with a grade of “P” (Pass) will be treated by graduate and professional school admissions, licensure requirements, and others,” Jaffe wrote in his letter. “It is therefore recommended that you work with your advisor to make this decision, as changing a letter grade to Pass/Fail may have unintended consequences.”
Student Leland Murphy, an author of a bill that called on administrators to adopt a “pass” or “fail” grading system, told Campus Reform that the policy will benefit students who continue to struggle as a result of the pandemic.
“To be honest, this semester was just as bad as spring or even worse,” Murphy said. “Many of the same problems still persist. Cases are currently surging. Students and their families are sick. The economy is in shambles. Students are displaced at home still. Nothing is ‘normal.'”
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