An epidemic of grade inflation is channeling into the minds of college students, as the true meaning of an A is losing its value.
There is a common saying amongst college students that have lead them to believe that doing the bare minimum will allow them to coast by in their college careers. “C’s get degree’s,” is said by students at many universities, but are students actually content with receiving C’s? The letter C stands as a symbol to represent a grade that is considered as average, however, C’s have begun to amount to the same as a failing grade in many student’s eyes.
While conversing with a friend we both agreed that we seem to get upset if we receive a grade that is lower than a B. And... sometimes we are disappointed if we get a B. So, if C’s are considered average, then why are students disappointed in that? And, furthermore, why are students disappointed in receiving B’s? Maybe C’s are considered as a fail because often times it is not very difficult to get an A.
For example, my sophomore year I took a general education science course. It was possible to receive a C- on every test and still get an A overall in the class, solely based on homework and in-class assignments. A college student was able to receive an above average grade without even getting an average grade on a single test.
If above average grades are not difficult to receive, especially at the college level, then that must mean that some students who do not deserve A’s and B’s are in fact getting them because the work does not require much effort.
Also, professors realize this mindset that has been instilled within students. One of my professors commented that she's had students try to negotiate B’s to a higher grade on several occasions.
Some students feel as if the general education courses are too easy. “All of my Gen Ed courses have been ridiculously easy so far. I’ve had a few that I’ve been able to skip pretty much once a week and still get an A in the class,” said a West Chester University sophomore.
Another student at this university mentioned something similar, “gen ed. courses are pretty much a guaranteed A, and a boost for my GPA." If A’s are not difficult to receive, especially at the college level, then that must mean that some students who do not deserve A’s are in fact getting them, because the work does not require much effort.
If an A is supposed to amount to extraordinary work, then how can it be “guaranteed” in some classes? It is understandable that a general education course would not be as difficult as a course specific to a student’s major, but a class that requires no effort at all to receive a stellar grade means the student is not being challenged at all. If a student can skip class on a regular basis or rarely study, then it is not logical for that student to receive an average grade, let alone an A.