College Myths Debunked: The Automatic 4.0

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Dead-Man-On-Campus_lAs college students, we are constantly inundated with new knowledge. It can be useful, thought-provoking, or crammed into our head on a Starbucks-fueled binge several hours before an exam. However, very rarely do we question the validity of all this new knowledge (unless you take philosophy classes, then you’ll question away).

That’s where College Candy comes in. We’re not going to debate whether or not the Theory of Relativity actually exists (a disappointment, I know, but I’m a communications major and stopped taking science classes after Baby Bio fresh year). However, we are here to thoroughly investigate the most widespread college knowledge (no, not rhyming)—the myth.

So we’ve all heard this particularly morbid myth (no, not any of the ones from Urban Legends—although Brenda was a bad-ass scary killer) about one surefire, if not tragic, way to snag a 4.0. The general myth goes a little something like this: If your roommate dies, you automatically achieve a 4.0 average for the semester.

There are a ton of variations to this myth; if you weren’t in the room at the time of death, you only get a 3.5 (sorry, not traumatized enough!). Or if you have more than one roommate, you’re not all going to get the golden 4.0 (they don’t want to run out of perfect GPA’s, I guess?). And, of course—you can’t kill your roomie for the express purposes of getting a 4.0 (killing her for ruining the suede clutch you lent her, now that’s another story).

As it turns out, however, there is (surprise!) no such rule on any campus in the United States of A. You may have heard it repeatedly since you were a freshman, you might have a lab partner who will swear on a stack of Bibles that it happened to his 2nd cousin at Ole Miss, hell your parents might even still believe this myth, but it is one million percent fictional.

First of all, as Snopes points out when it lists the different variations of the rumor, there are way too many provisions that would need to be established to ensure that all 4.0’s were given to the bereaved fairly (unfairly?). What if you were home, but they died in the living room? What if you were out of town at the actual time of death, but you found the body? What if you were out shacking and came home to crime scene tape across your door?

Then of course, administration would have to deal with helicopter parents who wanted to ensure that their children received the GPA they “earned” (via their roommate’s death). who’d do anything to get a Harvard Law-worthy GPA.

The bottom line is, this myth is completely and undeniably false. If you really don’t believe me (I know, that lab partner was pretty effing convincing) read through your entire student handbook and find this policy. Chances are you’ll read only about the grief counseling and other services offered to traumatized students (those services aren’t going to be of the “Here’s straight A’s” variety). If I’m wrong, I will come to your school and go streaking across the quad. But if I’m right (and I am) you’ll have to come to Tallahassee and do the same. Trust.

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