Skip Nav
8 Reasons Summer Is the Best Time to Rekindle Stale Relationships
5 Shows That Prove You Love Urban Fantasy — and What to Read After Watching
If You Want to Stay Married, Do These 10 Things Every Day

US Universities Have a Grading Problem

When it comes to entitlement, American college students get high marks. At universities around the country students expect better grades for less work.

Growing increasingly concerned with students' increasing expectations, researches at the University of California, Irvine decided to study student attitudes. According to the New York Times the report found that a third of students surveyed said that they expected B’s just for attending lectures, and 40 percent said they deserved a B for completing the required reading.

The study hypothesized that parental pressure, competition, and achievement anxiety (prescription drug sure to follow shortly) has caused students to see an A as the default grade, rather than a C.

High report-card expectations aren't a bad thing, but let's hope actually learning something is part of the goal too.


Join The Conversation
Grandpa Grandpa 8 years
I should have added "In my day" to the grade inflation comment.
Grandpa Grandpa 8 years
I remember a professor in had in college, he made two profound statements. “Students are like electricity, they take the path of least resistance” The other was “I do not understand college students at all, they pay good money to get an education, and then defy you to give it to them” :true:
Grandpa Grandpa 8 years
Talk about grade inflation, in the ivy league schools it was called “The Gentleman’s C”
whatthew00t whatthew00t 8 years
This attitude of entitlement is quite prevalent on my campus. In my classes, it is easy to tell which ones half-assed their way to college and which ones truly care about the subject and course. The former would only speak up and ask questions when it is near midterms and finals. The latter always ask questions, discuss in class, and want to know more information about a topic we are learning in class. I agree with some of the comments. It's like these students are still stuck in the high school mentality. I worked hard since freshman year, and I don't complain when I get bad grades, because I am a college student, not a high school student and I've been raised on high academic standards from my elementary and high school teachers, my parents, and myself. It's frustrating when you look at some of these students and you ask in your head, "How do you deserve to dorm? How do you deserve to even go to this college when there are other kids who truly work hard for good grades and deserve to go but can't because of financial and personal circumstances?"
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
Jessie- I am reading a book called "Blue Like Jazz" and the author said he went to Reed college, is it in the pacific northwest oregon or washington, right? All of my classes at state, you can only miss 3 classes or you go down a grade. But I am continuing my ed through a flex program meant for working adults to pursue a masters, and they don't care if you are there at all.
Calimie Calimie 8 years
A B for just showing up? What's with those people? I understand a little help (in my country we use the 0-10 system and at best you'd get 1 point for showing up. That's only a 10% and only of use to help you pass, at most!) I can''t believe it. Alithyra: oh, I know what you mean. I've also heard of professor who had this quota: 200 people start but only 14 will pass. It's horrible. As with most other things: extreme situations are a disaster.
Alithyra Alithyra 8 years
There needs to be a line, though. Students need to actually learn and teachers need actually teach. My school still had teachers that would fail entire classes just because it gave them giggles. Seriously. One calculus class a friend was in started with 20 people. Four people took the final, and I think only 2 passed the class. Not because they weren't smart people, but because of the teacher. Three question tests, with no partial credit, were common. If you accidentally transposed a number but had all the process right, too bad for you. No credit for the entire question. He was tenured and didn't care. Another professor I had used to fail everyone that wasn't from his little region of India. Thankfully the dean stepped in on that one.
genesisrocks genesisrocks 8 years
Ah this. Everyone told me I was going to bust my a** just to get Cs in college and they were right! It doesn't matter if you're the smartest kid in the class. All the stuff on the test you have to learn on your own cuz the teachers aren't going to cover all of it when you have a textbook to help you.
Faylinn Faylinn 8 years
Wow, what? I know some kids who think they deserve a B or C by just attending lectures or classes. Then again, it's because they're too lazy to put an effort in studying or writing essays. This is such a high school mentality. People need to learn that effort does not equal quality of work.
bengalspice bengalspice 8 years
I was always super happy if I got at least a B at Bryn Mawr. I always went into shock if my hard work earned me an A since Bryn Mawr is really really hard on grading. I always managed to get an A for less work at UPenn ... but that might have been because I was taking classes in Humanities.
Colleeninator Colleeninator 8 years
At my school, a lot of kids EXPECT free A's, but that's probably why they don't get them.
chatondeneige chatondeneige 8 years
eowynnie, sounds like you and I are the only two students in the world who have ever said to a teacher "My paper wasn't good enough for this grade!" ;) I once got an A on my first paper (which I'd halfassed! and which had comments on how I could improve the conclusion) in a class, and I told the professor that I was glad she liked it, but if she wanted to hold me to a higher standard, she could expect much better stuff. I think she respected me more for it, but she gave me the A anyway, because she did a curve. (And I got an A in the class. Hell yeah!) :) A lot of kids these days expect something for nothing. It's irritating, but what did y'all expect when you raised my generation to believe that we're very special and that we deserve everything we've ever wanted without having to work for it?
eowynnie eowynnie 8 years
My university has consistently been on the grade deflation list. Oh well. I bust my bum to get what I get, so I'm not complaining! I do raise complaint, however, when the feedback I get on an assignment does not match the grade I received (for that assignment). For good and for bad.
em1282 em1282 8 years
"Grades aren't that important in my opinion its what you learned in class and what you can retain. Wait until these kids have to get a job and speak intelligently on what they studied. I have friends that got horrible grades while working their ass off and beat out ivy league kids for jobs because they actually learned something instead of just being able to cram for tests or recite what was said in a lecture. Those 'good at school' people are now struggling to succeed in the real world." Excellent point, mydiadem!
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
Hey how'd they get my graduation photo!?!? :o
Jessiebanana Jessiebanana 8 years
Hmmm...I don't think my school (Reed College) has heard of this trend :sigh:. In fact my school is notorious for handing severer grades and having zero grade inflation. It's rough, but it makes the A's and B's feel better when you do get them. The only thing that sucks is that my GPA is going to be compared to other people's GPA's for Grad school admission, even though they might of put in less effort for it.
melizzle melizzle 8 years
Sheesh... this reminds me of when I was a teacher... "but I ALWAYS get A's!!"
chatondeneige chatondeneige 8 years
I hate my generation. :oy:
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
At my college, the profs could care less if you showed up. You were either there, and caught random pop quizes and special hints on the exams, are you weren't. It was your decision because you are supposed to be a GROWN UP!
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
lost generation
Michelann Michelann 8 years
And I totally agree with you that the "good at school" people (we like to call them grade grinders) aren't always the best in practical work. You may be able to weasel extra points and favors out of a teacher, and you may be able to study for hours at a time, but it doesn't mean you'll be successful in a business setting.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
Mydiadem, grades are pretty important if you're trying to get into grad school. But there are lots of other important factors, you're right.
mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
Grades aren't that important in my opinion its what you learned in class and what you can retain. Wait until these kids have to get a job and speak intelligently on what they studied. I have friends that got horrible grades while working their ass off and beat out ivy league kids for jobs because they actually learned something instead of just being able to cram for tests or recite what was said in a lecture. Those 'good at school' people are now struggling to succeed in the real world.
simplyfab87 simplyfab87 8 years
Same here Hanian. I can't believe people expect B's for just going to class. I would have a 4.3 if life was like that.
Michelann Michelann 8 years
My university has a mandatory attendance policy. How ridiculous is that? Make your lectures worthwhile and essential to my success in your course, and I promise I'll be there. A lot of my professors seem to grade based on how hard you tried instead of how well you actually perform. I definitely see the attitude of entitlement from my peers. Even some of the dumbest ones (who couldn't write a comprehensible paper if they had a full four years) still get seriously mad when they're not handed an A or B.
Forgetting to Teach Kids How to Tie Shoelaces
Lottery Horror Stories
Adam West Dead
Parent Uses Common Core to Write Check
From Our Partners
Latest Love
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds