Ohio University Students have an optional pass/fail grading system they can choose to use.

Pass/Fail Grading Receives Mixed Reviews from College Students

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – Within the last month, college students across Ohio have had to make the adjustment from attending in-person lectures to completing all classwork online. With that, many Ohio colleges have made adjustments in an attempt to help their students by implementing an optional pass/fail grading system.

Students who opt to participate in this grading system will receive a “satisfactory” mark for any classes they receive a passing letter grade in, and for classes they don’t pass, they will receive no credit. Neither marks will affect the students’ GPA.

OU students have until May 13 to opt to use the alternative grading system.

These changes come at a time when students will be adjusting to class from home because of COVID-19 shutting down college campuses. Parker Baney, a sophomore at Ohio State University, said this new grading system could benefit students who rely heavily on getting good grades for their major.

“It alleviates some of the pressure because the pass/fail system won’t affect our GPA and I know that is important for some students who have to keep a certain GPA to keep their place in their major,” Baney said.

Miami University’s Conor Moore, a junior, said he believes this is probably the right move by colleges since it may be harder to learn new material outside of a traditional classroom setting.

“It’s a great idea,” Moore said. “When I look back on my time in college and the classes I took, trying to teach myself calculus-based physics online would be incredibly difficult, so I think it would be beneficial for classes like that.”

While many college students will benefit from this new grading system, some college students have noticed loopholes with the new system.

“I’ve heard from one of my friends who is very happy about this new grading system,” Moore said. “I think people are going to realize that they can pass their classes by doing just the bare minimum if they opt for the pass/fail grading system.”

“It gives students the opportunity to do less and receive the same grade in a sense with the pass/fail system,” Baney said. “I feel like students will take advantage of that.”

According to the Ohio University website, students will have until May 13 to decide whether to elect to receive the “S” mark for any of their classes, which comes 12 days after the spring semester is scheduled to end. Miami University offers a similar option to their students, which Moore believes is a flaw in the new grading system.

“One of the broken features is, I have all the way until May 8 to decide if I want to make a class credit/no credit, which is literally three week before finals week, Moore said. “I feel like many students will abuse the decision to go to credit/no credit to avoid the low letter grades.”

Colleges and universities are implementing this new grading system to benefit their students as they adjust to college from home because of COVID-19. While this system may receive mixed reviews from college students, this pass/fail grading system is still optional for students to decide whether they use it.