What’s Happening to the Average GPA?

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Are college students getting smarter?

If you looked at the grades they are “earning,” you might assume the answer is yes.  The average GPA in college is 3.1. At private schools, the norm is a 3.3 GPA. In contrast, the typical college student had an average GPA of 2.52 in the 1950s.

In nearly every decade, the GPA has inched up. Clearly grade inflation is at play, suggests Stuart Rojstaczer, a retired Duke University professor, who is the guru of grade inflation research. You can see tons of his grade inflation evidence at his website – GradeInflation.com.

Among different institutions, students who attend public commuter schools and engineering schools get graded most harshly.

Here are 3 reasons for college grade inflation:

1. Professors don’t want to jeopardize students’ chances for graduate school and jobs after those fun college years are over.

2. Professors can be cowed by the teacher evaluation forms that students complete. No teacher wants a terrible rating on RateMyProfessors.com.

3. At expensive private schools, students and their parents expect high grades to match these institutions’ high price tags.

Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution, an Amazon bestseller, and she writes a college blog for CBSMoneyWatch. Follow her on Twitter.

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5 Responses to “What’s Happening to the Average GPA?”

  1. […] grade inflation has been rampant at many elite colleges and universities for years, but now comes word that law […]

  2. Interesting read! I also found something similar you may want to check out, its about getting GPA Scholarships with just having a 2.5 GPA or higher.

    Check it out on the link here and let me know what you think!

    – All the best

  3. Emmy Britton says:

    Amazing post and I definitely learned a lot from reading this! You may also went GPA Scholarships so check out the site and let me know.

    They offer over thousands of dollars in payouts for students each week so its definitely an opportunity you guys don’t want to miss out on!

    – All the best

  4. Valid points, but is there anything to be said for: 1. An increase in available resources available to the students (e.g. technology, internet, etc.), 2. Higher work ethic, perhaps due to the fact that college degrees are necessary for most corporate jobs?

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