I never went to college so I missed out on all the keg parties and, apparently, a surplus of good grades.
Contrary to the concept of school as you knew it growing up, A’s are pretty easy to come by these days. In fact the only thing you have to work really hard to get are D’s and F’s. In college today, an A is over four times as common as a D or an F combined.
It’s a drastic change from the 15% of students who received A’s in 1960.
The pool is a little higher today. Ok, it’s a lot higher. If you look at this chart you’ll see that 43% of all letter grades given today are A’s.
And this sort of makes sense if you think about it. No one wants to pay $40,000 a year to hear that they’re dumb.
College is one of the rare businesses in which you pay them and at the end of the experience they tell you how well they did. If you’re a parent and you send your kids to school and they get A’s you feel good about the purchase. But if your kids get F’s you feel like they wasted your money.
And amazingly these institutions of higher learning, that do little other than indoctrinate kids against the evils of capitalism, sure do understand incentives.
It may be hard to get into an Ivy League school, but according to Walter Williams, professor of economics at George Mason University, that’s where the hardship ends.
According to his research, our 1.1 trillion dollars in college debt is sure buying some awesome grades at some high brand schools.
Take Brown University for instance. Two-thirds of all letter grades given at Brown University are A’s.
At Harvard, fifty percent of all grades were either A or A-. And 91 percent of seniors graduated with honors.
I’ve got news for you if 91 percent of people are graduating with honors, it’s not honors.
Eighty percent of the grades given at the University of Illinois are A’s and B’s.
At Columbia University, fifty percent of students are on the Dean’s list. I’ve got news for ya if 50% of students are on the Deans list, it’s not the Deans list. It’s just a list of half of the school.
And how about Stanford? Only 6 percent of student grades at Stanford were a C or below.
Or let’s take the case of the University of Michigan, the average GPA was 2.57 in 1950. Let’s watch it go up up up up to 3.27 today.
As you look at the average GPA skyrocket, ask yourself this question. Do you think our kids getting smarter by this much?
I’m going to guess no—but they totally should get an A for Effort!
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