February 2nd, 2010 | Uncategorized

Tigers bemoan spike in B+ grades

Amid a weak economy and tight job market, Princeton students are blaming the University’s rigid grading policy for a drop in job placements, according to a Friday article by the New York Times.

Last year saw the number of A- range grades at Princeton drop below 40 percent, down from nearly 50 percent recorded in 2004, the year when the University introduced a policy that aimed to restrict the number of A-range grades in each undergraduate course to 35 percent.

Princeton also saw a 30 percent drop in job placements last year in the finance and consulting industries.

In a college survey conducted last year, 32 percent of students cited grading policy as their top source of stress. Last month, the Daily Princetonian published an editorial denouncing the policy.

“The nightmare scenario, if you will, is that you apply with a 3.5 from Princeton and someone just as smart as you applies with a 3.8 from Yale,” said Daniel E. Rauch, a senior from Millburn, N.J., in an interview with The New York Times.

  • Really?

    3.8 at Yale? Are you serious? I think Harvard grade inflation should be the main target here.

  • same

    Yale science has the same problem. The fact is that you apply with a 3.5 science major from Yale and someone with a 3.6 non science major from Yale, non science wins the admission to Yale medical School.

  • @#1

    Get your facts straight. Harvard is 5th behind Yale as having the most grade inflation in the Ivy League.

  • Inflation? BS.

    Um, if you take 5 or 6k of the top achieving high school students in the country and tell them that no matter what they do, the average grade is going to be a B and there will be as many A’s as C’s, you’re going to have a revolt on your hands. Yeah, it would be one thing if people out in the real world were more attentive to differences between schools, but the fact of the matter is that they aren’t, and the end result is Peyton Manning makes Phi Beta Kappa as a Communications major at Tennessee, but Yale science majors get the screw. So no, it’s not grade inflation; indeed, arbitrarily assigning rigid percentage cutoffs is more likely to result in grade DE-flation at a place like Yale or Princeton.

  • @ #2

    Do you think that admissions officers are so naive as to not know about grade inflation? A 0.1 difference in GPA from the same undergrad institution doesn’t really speak volumes about differences in student performance.

  • skeptic

    “rigid grading policy”? with nearly 40 percent As?

    “A” had come to mean “average” (nearly statistically true). What Yalies should want is for someone to say “Wow, straight As at Yale, that must mean you are really great” Instead, it seems to mean “Yeah.. I showed up (most of the time)”

  • question

    does Princeton award A+s? I know some Ivys do and some don’t (Yale does not). This, I think, would play at least as big a role in messing with GPAs as grade inflation (which seems to be relatively universal).

  • To #5

    I’m sure #5 is probably some undergrad or grad in a comfy academia major like history or English. 0.1 in a GPA can mean the difference between an acceptance or rejection in medical/law school and in very competitive jobs like ibanking and consulting. Now go do your history readings…

  • facts

    to #1, keep in mind that yale actually has a higher average GPA than harvard (3.51 vs. 3.45). the average gpa at princeton, it turns out, is 3.28.

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