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Penn State Releases Full Grading Information For Spring 2020 Classes

Penn State Executive Vice President and Provost Nick Jones released a slate of new information regarding the university’s modified grading system for the spring semester in a mass email to students Wednesday night.

University officials revealed in a town hall Tuesday that students would have the option to selectively modify their grades this semester to accommodate the challenges presented by Penn State’s remote learning period.

Students will have the option to replace earned letter grades in any of their courses with one of three alternative grades:

  • SAT (Satisfactory) — This grade is available if you earn a C or better in a course. SAT grades meet all C or better conditions, including entrance to major requirements and prerequisites.
  • V (Pass) — This grade is available if you earn a D or better in a course and is considered to be a passing grade. You’ll still earn credits for courses with V grades. They can be used to meet requirements for which D is an acceptable grade.
  • Z (No Grade) — This grade is available if you earn an F in a course. Zs can be used to replace Fs and will be treated the same as a Late Drop (LD) grade.

“The plan reflects the possibility that some of you, through no fault of your own, may not achieve the grades you could have if you had attended on-campus classes for the entire semester,” Jones wrote. “The plan is also designed to minimize impacts to your GPAs and academic transcripts.”

Students will have approximately one week after final letter grades are posted to decide if they’d like to switch any out for alternative grades. More information regarding this process and deadlines will be announced “at a later date.”

Alternative grades are available to all undergraduate students at any Penn State campus as well as undergraduate World Campus students and those who are continuing study abroad programs remotely.

Students will still receive credit for courses in which they receive SAT or V grades. If you opt to swap for these grades, your semester standing won’t be affected and, most importantly, you’ll still get to purchase football tickets this summer.

While alternative grades are available for all undergraduate students, it may behoove them to keep their earned grades if they hope to attend grad school, medical school, or law school.

“We know that many of you will want to keep your earned letter grades to reflect your accomplishments,” Jones wrote. “So, you will decide whether to keep your letter grade for a course or have it converted to the corresponding alternative grade as noted above.”

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State with distinction in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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