Holy Harvard Hoohah, Batman!

See, stuff like this is why I think sending your kids to Harvard is silly.

“At a closed meeting, the faculty voted in favor of two sweeping changes. First, Harvard will switch from an idiosyncratic 15-point grading scale to the more conventional scale in which a 4.0 is an A and a zero is an F. The change will narrow the difference between an A-minus and a B-plus, which the faculty hopes will make a B more palatable. Second, Harvard will limit the number of students allowed to graduate with honors to 60 percent of a class. Nearly 90 percent of the students in Harvard’s class of 2001 graduated with some form of honors.”

Later in the story … “But in a 10-page report recommending the changes, Ms. Pedersen and two other deans openly agonized that the changes could backfire. In putting a cap on the number of students permitted to earn honors, they fretted, they might discourage students from taking intellectual risks like writing a senior thesis or taking a challenging course.”

Come on … if you’re in college to learn, you’re going to take a good, hard class regardless. If you’re in college for a piece of paper, it’ll be evident to your employer no matter whether or not your pretty piece of sheepskin has cum laude on it or not.

Freaking Harvard.


  1. Not really. Your GPA is counted like so:

    Grade value * number of hours = quality points.

    Quality points / total hours = GPA

    So, last fall, I had an two A’s and two B’s. 3.5, right? Nope … the A’s were in a two-hour and one-hour class, and the B’s were in three-hour classes.

    Of course, there are sick people like Rick who think that getting a 4.0 is a life goal. 🙂

  2. Well, that’s the same as at UVic. When I took my golf course it was only worth 0.5 credits, so it was 1/3rd the value that a regular course was. Of course, most courses people take are 1.5 credits every four months (we don’t go by hours, but most classes are three hours a week, not including labs or tutorials).

    But for you guys you don’t have an A+ where you get, say, 4.25 grade points?

  3. My one complaint about the way that UAH has the ‘hours’ laid out for classes is that it’s supposed to equal the time that you spend in class or lab for any given subject class. Hah. The CPE department has started to combine labs and classes into one ‘class’ and still only giving us three hours for the course, when in reality I’m spending 4 or 5 hours a week in lab and class for that subject. And that’s not even counting time that I’m spending outside of lectures working on homework and the programs and projects for classes. That would likely triple those credit hours if you counted that, too.

  4. No, there is no A+ to pull us up, but that also means that there is no A- to pull us down. I was able to finish with a 4.0 due to the mercy of my professors. In one class, I knew the grade that I needed to keep an A. Conveniently my final had that exact grade on it and I could tell that he had graded leniently. Oh well… it is done.

  5. UAH probably wouldn’t have been so nice, Rick. 🙂

    Funny that ECE is combining classes, Kat. MAE is splitting the labs from the classes. Sure, they’re 1-hour credits, but you can then treat them with the appropriate time needs, etc., relative to your GPA.

  6. Yeah, I wish they were still separate labs so that I felt I was getting due credit for it. Instead, if I don’t bust my ass and get these labs done on top of everything else the teacher assigns, then it doesn’t pull down just 1 credit. It pulls down a grade worth 3 credits. Not like grades effect my GPA that much anymore, I’ve got so many classes that it just slides my GPA a tenth of a point one way or the other at a time.

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