Lifestyle

College Myths Debunked: The Automatic 4.0

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.

    Related ItemsLifestyle gpa roommate suicide
    Comments

    Comments

    1. Erin says:

      I have never heard of that! I think it would be pretty sad if someone truly believed this myth. I love that you guys are debunking college myths, they all seem to be entertaining, and there are some i have never heard of.

    2. Mary says:

      A girl at my campus just OD on Monday and some people were talking about how her roomies probably wouldn't get a 4.00 gpa since the girl died from drugs. How creepy.

    3. Angie Marie says:

      Haha, and I though that rumor was only going around at my school! I was joking about this with two guys I'm friends with who are roommates! Thanks for clearing things up!

    4. Casey says:

      I've never heard this one either. But if someone actually believes this, that's sad. I can understand them letting you withdraw from all of your classes with no penalty, and letting you finish them the next semester/ year, whatever, but they can't just GIVE you a 4.0. It's college, you have to earn what you get or there's no point.

    5. Michelle says:

      While it is not an OFFICIAL rule, this rule is an unwritten one on many campuses. It is on ours. Some colleges, however, do not have this rule, and it is specifically stated as such.

    6. Emily says:

      I've heard that if your roommate dies, or commits suicide, you get free tuition for the rest of the year.

    7. […] College Myths Debunked: The Automatic 4.0 – College Candy […]

    8. Deidre says:

      I know for a fact this isn't the case at Texas A&M Univ. My bf suicided and I know his roommate well. Neither of us got 4.0s- just grief counseling- which was better than the GPA-hike would've been.

    9. Maria says:

      A guy at my college killed himself last year, and his roommate did NOT get the 4.0, did NOT get free tuition, or any of that. The only thing he got was loads of free counseling.

    10. […] 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. […]

    11. Kristi says:

      I've heard that on my campus, if you get hit by one of the campus vehicles (that so conveniently drive all around campus – roads, sidewalks, lawns!!) they will pay your tuition for that year.

      I've never heard if it's true or not though, only a rumour…

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