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How To Request Alternative Grades For Spring 2020 Courses

Now that finals are over and summer official has begun, Penn State has provided more details surrounding its modified grading system for spring 2020 courses.

Beginning Wednesday, May 20, when grades are finalized, students will have until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, May 29 to opt into any alternative grades. Selections won’t be finalized until submitting them through LionPATH.

To swap out any grades, first head over to LionPATH and select “Spring 2020 Alternative Grade Calculator & Request” under the grading dropdown. The option isn’t currently live, but it should appear once May 20 rolls around next week.

Once you’ve done so, you’ll find yourself on a unique page featuring your spring semester courses and grades. To the right, you’ll see the grades you’ve earned but also the alternative grade equivalents of each.

The page also features a handy-dandy GPA calculator. Students are advised to use the tool to investigate how their GPAs will or won’t be affected by opting into alternative grades. To use the calculator, check off the alternative grades you’re thinking about taking, hit “calculate,” and examine how things change.

Once you’ve calculated, you’ll see a new box at the bottom of the page featuring your estimated semester GPA, estimated cumulative GPA, and total credits earned. Remember, SATs and Vs will count for credit, while Zs will not.

When you’re ready to finalize your alternative grades, check them off and submit the request using the button at the bottom. Be sure to double-check your selections!

You’ll then be brought to a final screen asking you to double-check and confirm your selections. Once you’re all set, select “process request.” After your request has been submitted, you’ll be brought back to the page and should notice your selected courses have been swapped to alternative grades.

If you have any Academic Integrity violations racked up, your courses will be reviewed manually and may take longer to be approved.

Before finalizing any grades, students are heavily advised to speak with their academic advisors and weight the implications of taking any modified grades.


Still have any burning questions about alternative grading? Head over to our comprehensive guide on the new system, which features an overview of the process as well as answers to a few FAQs.

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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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