“What Wellesley learned when it stopped giving out so many A’s”
By Libby Nelson
Wellesley College used to be one of the worst offenders. In 2000, the average course grade awarded was a 3.55, an A-minus. Then, in 2003, Wellesley decided enough was enough. The college created a new rule: average final grades in classes at the introductory or intermediate level (a 100-level or 200-level class, in college catalogue terminology) should be no higher than a B-plus.
Professors could exceed those limits, but they’d have to explain themselves in writing to the administration if they did. The change applied to about two-thirds of Wellesley’s academic departments, which were awarding grades that exceeded the cap.
Research on the effects of the change, published in this month’s Journal of Economic Perspectives, suggested it successfully reversed the upward trend in GPAs. Here’s what the college learned. CONTINUE READING HERE