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.