University will allow students to pass-fail or withdraw from courses without penalty

coronavirus classes illustration
Sam Ford/THE REVIEW
The university announced Thursday morning new emergency academic policies for the Spring 2020 semester amidst chaos from the coronavirus pandemic.

BY
Senior Reporter

The university announced Thursday morning new emergency academic policies for the Spring 2020 semester amidst chaos from the coronavirus pandemic. Students may now choose the option to switch to a pass-fail grading system without financial or academic penalty.

The date for professors to post letter grades is June 1. Between that date and June 9, after reviewing their grades, students will have the option to request a change to pass-fail their courses instead. Students are advised to consult with their advisors and dean’s office before making the decision.

There are four grade possibilities under the pass-fail options for spring semester: High Pass (A through B-), Mid Pass (C+ through C-), Low Pass (D+ through D-) and No Credit which will replace an F. None of the pass-fail options will affect students’ GPAs.

Official transcripts will thus be delayed to allow for grade changes if a student requests them. All transcripts will note that spring semester was “significantly disrupted” by coronavirus.

The university is also extending the period during which students may withdraw from courses to May 1. Students will not be charged a fee for withdrawing, but the university advises students to be aware that enrolling in fewer than 12 credits may affect financial aid for some.

Many other colleges around the country are moving to pass-fail or satisfactory-unsatisfactory grading due to this semester’s circumstances, including Duke University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Smith College and Vanderbilt. Students at their schools such as University of Maryland Baltimore County, Georgetown University and the University of Pennsylvania are launching petitions urging their institutions to switch to pass-fail grading as well.

Delaware State University and Delaware Technical University have not yet announced similar plans to switch to a pass-fail grading system.

This is a developing story. Check back frequently for more updates. Head to UDReview.com/Category/Coronavirus/ for our latest coverage of the disease and its effects.

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