You want to talk about grade inflation in America’s colleges? Look no further than the Ivy League’s Harvard College. The Harvard Crimson is reporting that the median grade at Harvard is an A-, while the most frequently awarded grade is an A. This is both outrageous and depressing at the same time:
The median grade at Harvard College is an A-, and the most frequently awarded mark is an A, Dean of Undergraduate Education Jay M. Harris said on Tuesday afternoon, supporting suspicions that the College employs a softer grading standard than many of its peer institutions.
Harris delivered the information in response to a question from government professor Harvey C. Mansfield ’53 at the monthly meeting of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
“A little bird has told me that the most frequently given grade at Harvard College right now is an A-,” Mansfield said during the meeting’s question period. “If this is true or nearly true, it represents a failure on the part of this faculty and its leadership to maintain our academic standards.”
Then there is this bombshell:
The most frequently awarded grade in Harvard College is actually a straight A.
Where I went for undergrad, Georgia Tech, there is actually grade deflation going on. The median GPA is below a 3.0, while it is closer to 2.5 to 2.6 for the engineering majors.