For the past few weeks, I have heard a lot about the plus/minus grading policy. Even though I agree that the policy will help students in the long run, I believe the issue directly relates to TCU’s national ranking. The new grading policy will help raise the academic bar for students. Raising this bar will make grade inflation a thing of the past and give students more options. A student who goes the “extra mile” will be rewarded for working harder. Although the system will make it difficult to get the coveted 4.0, it will in essence, make a TCU degree worth more.Students will have to work harder just to maintain the same grades, but we know it will be an investment in our futures.
Yes, other top ranked schools implement the plus/minus system. However, other top schools also have lower acceptance rates, higher alumni support and higher graduation rates. If our school wanted to have a higher ranking like SMU, Rice and Baylor, it would need to focus on these categories. The criteria I have listed are major factors when U.S. News and World Report formulates their annual rankings. A plus/minus grading system may go into the ranking, but working on the important categories will notably increase our ranking.
After we implement the new plus/minus policy, questions will arise. Which professors will use it? How much of an impact will the new grading system have on students who have taken classes before the new policy? Although in time these questions will be answered, I hope the faculty can work with students to create a system that is beneficial to all parties involved.
Peter Parlapiano is a sophomore finance major from Houston.