Implications of Princeton's grade quotas





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Discus: College Search and Selection: April 2004 Archive: Implications of Princeton's grade quotas
By Julie66 (Julie66) on Sunday, April 18, 2004 - 08:44 pm: Edit

Does anybody think that Princeton's new grade quotas - only 35% of a class can recieve A's - will hurt prin studs in grad school? make undergrad environment even more competetive then it already is since stud are competing against each other for a finite number of A's as opposed to being graded strictly on the merit of their own work? I am considering Prin, along with Harv, Stan - wasn't accepted by first choice Yale :( - and am concerned by the radical measures they seem to be taking to curb grade inflation. I've been reading several articles in the daily princetonian and the administration seems to be completely close-minded to the stud body's unananimous opposition to this change. I've read many of the opp-ed pieces and the sudents seem to be voicing valid concerns for the adverse effect it will have on both prin stud's quality of life in college and after college (since many are saying that it will hurt their grad school/job placement)Any opinions?

By Futajalon (Futajalon) on Sunday, April 18, 2004 - 10:29 pm: Edit

They really need to leave this grade inflation thing alone. Sometimes the solution is worse than the problem. This rationing of grades regardless of performance seems communist to me. I think this policy will drive prospective Tigers right into the welcoming arms of HYS. Princeton is being terribly stupid and amateurish on this issue.

By Chpl_Ill23 (Chpl_Ill23) on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 01:13 am: Edit

Futajalon, i agree abt the poor timing of the announcement. As if princeton's acceptance rate being almost two full percentage points higher than H and Y is not enough to drop them in the rankings and cause people debating over prestige to choose Yale, now the most selective school, or Harvard, the school with the biggest name, over Pton, they announce that they're going to institute a policy that goes against any conception of meritorious grading or student-adminstration co-operative rapport. For some reason I don't see a number one USNWR ranking on Pton's horizon. I agree that grade inflation should be gently curbed, but turning academia into a totalitarian state is certainly no way to go about it. Also, the manner in which the adminstration has handeled this situation certainly doesn't say much about the degree to which they value student opinion in major decisions concering student life.

I, for one, was on the fence btwn H and P, and the grade inflation issue has def tipped the scales toward harvard. People say HYS will follow suit in curbing grading inflation, but hopefully they undergo a decision process that actually takes into consideration student opinion before announcing their plans to the the biggest newspapers in the nation. As for the claims made by some on the prin message board (where there is an identical thread by the way, just not same posts) that the new policy is only nominal and won't change the undergraduate environment, current prin students certainly don't see it that way. Just read for youself:
http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/archives/2004/04/16/news/10294.shtml
The way I understand it, both H and P are pretty competive undergrad climates to begin with, and Prin's will only become more stressful once students realize that they need to edge-out the kid sitting next to him in class in order to get into that coveted 35 percent. It's like a pack of 100 dogs going after 35 slabs of meat. Dog-eat-dog is just not a healthy mentality to have bring to class.

By Mzhang23 (Mzhang23) on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 01:44 am: Edit

Once again, even if the policy is instituted the changes aren't going to be that radical. At Princeton most humanities classes run 40% A's or so. The 35% "cap," since they have agreed that they should be a bit flexible, isn't going to turn Princeton into Swarthmore. Yes, it's alright for the students to rally against it, but a lot of it is just overreaction to a policy Princeton decided to announce first to newspapers. The final agreement has yet to be decided on... I'd be surprised and dismayed if it gets passed it its current form. The student opposition will no doubt lead to some compromise.


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