GPA “arms race” makes “A” most common grade in US higher ed

April 1, 2016

The scramble to attract more students has resulted in a “GPA arms race” among American higher ed institutions, writes Catherine Rampell for The Washington Post, and this process has led to more “A" grades being awarded than ever before. According to a recent study from Duke University, 45.3% of all grades issued by US colleges are an “A.” Another 33.6% are “B”s, while only 3.5% are “F”s. Rampell explores a number of potential causes for this grade inflation. But whatever the reasons, she concludes, “without collective action—which means both standing up to students and publicly shaming other schools into adopting higher standards—the arms race will continue.” Washington Post