The Harvard Crimson reported that the most common grade students receive in Harvard is an A. It’s no secret these days that it’s much easier to receive a higher grader at an elite university due to grade curving than it is at a less prestigious school. However, it’s clearly more difficult to get into an elite university than one that is considered less notable. Can a student’s ability really be measured by their grades? I don’t think so, not one bit. Nevertheless, it does say something about our culture when universities inflate the grades of the less deserving especially in a school such as Harvard where, less face it, students may already feel a bit entitled.
I went to NYU and there were plenty of students who thought they were the cat’s meow and completely stopped working hard because they knew just being able to say they went to NYU was enough to open doors for them. Others just felt like they were better than kids at other colleges, until they were in a room full of Columbia students of course. NYU isn’t even an Ivy, so I can’t imagine how some of these Harvard students see themselves.
Furthermore I can’t imagine how hardworking students who have earned an A feel when lazier students receive the same honors as them. However writer Joyce Carol Oates makes a great point, “At large universities where thousands are admitted, bell-curve grading is used to ‘flunk out’ many freshmen. Very different in Ivy League. Bell-curve grading, which assures a percent of low grades & failures, is a cruel academic necessity in some quarters. Encourages cheating.”
Is there really any sense in giving out bad grades if most of the students are excellent? How do you feel about grade curving? Do you think students benefit or are held back by it?