We now have professors arguing that grades shouldn’t be given, so why should this surprise anyone?

The Federalist reports:

Study: More Students Are Graduating College Because It’s Gotten Easier

In the 1990s, only 40 percent of students who entered a four-year state college graduated within the next six years. In the 2000s, that six-year graduation rate increased—to 50 percent. But during that timeframe more poorly prepared students also entered college, so one would expect a drop in graduation rates, not the opposite.

So why did the opposite happen? A new study from Brown University, reported recently in The Atlantic, examines that question and concludes the most likely reason is that colleges have lowered their standards even further.

While student achievement over this timeframe decreased, as measured by math test scores, their college grade point averages and graduation rates increased. In other words, it appears colleges are further inflating these measures, a trend that has been documented since federal taxpayer funding of so-called higher education exploded.

“Our findings combined with trends in studying and labor force participation in college suggest standards for degree receipt have changed,” the researchers conclude. They controlled for students’ background characteristics like family income and race, the majors they choose, and the kind of colleges they attended, and found all of these “explain little of the change in graduation rates.”

“Put another way, equally prepared students with the same family income, parental education, gender, and institution type have higher GPAs” in 2004 than they did in 1998 and are more likely to graduate, write study authors Jeffrey Denning, Eric Eide, and Merrill Warnick. Other studies have found that a similar dynamic has been at work in U.S. high schools for at least a century.


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