It’s better to drop a college class and get no credit than to get a “D” in the class. It damages your GPA less, and usually you can still graduate on time, if you don’t drop or fail any other classes. When an LU blogger ran the risk of getting a “D” in physics at the University of Virginia, he dropped the class in the middle of the semester, to avoid reducing his GPA, which was over 3.8. As a result of his high GPA, he got into the second-highest ranked law school in America, which basically never admits anyone who got a “D” in anything in college.
But Western Washington University is treating students who fail better than students who get a “D,” by letting students who deserve an “F” get a “no credit” mark that doesn’t affect their GPA:
Western Washington University has overhauled its academic grading system and eliminated any grade below a D for students.
The university announced the change on Jan. 5, stating in a press release that a “strength-based grade approach” would be implemented. Beginning in fall 2024, the letter grades of D- and F will now show up as “No Credit” on transcripts.
When a “No Credit” is given to a student after taking a course, it won’t impact the student’s GPA, the Bellingham, Washington, university said.
”Beginning this fall term, the institutional academic grading regulation will reflect a grade range of A through D; the letter grades of D- and F will be replaced with No Credit (NC) for undergraduate students. The grade of NC will be used in instances where the student does not meet the course learning objectives. The difference is that the grade of NC will not negatively impact student GPAs,” the press release states.
According to Inside Higher Ed, talks of changing the grading system came up last summer as data from the past five years showed over 65% of freshmen who dropped out also earned an F during their first quarter.
Western Washington University says the grading approach “recognizes, embraces, and focuses on student competencies and achievements.”
“GPAs will now be a true reflection of student success and course mastery; failures will no longer mask the demonstrated abilities of our students when they pass courses,” said Western Washington University Provost Jose Coll.
Coll said that higher education has a “fixation” with GPAs.
”The GPA fixation we have as a country and the grading system that’s been in place for over 200 years has been used to determine who belongs and who is capable, although we know that similar to the SAT and ACT, many capable students have been prohibited from pursuing their post-secondary education due to these barriers,” Coll said, according to Fox News Digital.