ANALYSIS: Eliminating failing grades incentivizes laziness

College students are being indoctrinated with the idea that academic standards and rigor must be eliminated to achieve equity on campus.

Eliminating failing grades will not prepare students for the workforce and could also lower the value of a degree.

Western Oregon University’s decision to eliminate any grade below a D reflects a larger trend in society toward lowering standards and settling for mediocrity.

By removing the possibility of failure, Western Oregon University encourages an attitude of entitlement and complacency amongst students rather than motivating them to work hard and achieve their full potential.

College students are being indoctrinated by faculty and administrators with the idea that academic standards and rigor must be eliminated to achieve equity on campus.  However, lowering academic expectations to achieve equity does a disservice to both the students and the institution.

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The decision to eliminate failing grades will undoubtedly have long-term consequences for students by not adequately preparing them with the skills and knowledge they need before entering the workforce.  

Campus Reform reports indicate that academic ability is falling as standards are being lowered in higher education. One 2023 survey indicated that 72%  of young adults who have university degrees say that college did not fully prepare them to start a career. 

By removing failing grades, Western Oregon University is not preparing students for the real world where failure is a natural part of growth and learning. 

Western Oregon University’s decision also has negative consequences when it comes to the value of degrees earned from the university.  If students are not held to high academic standards and aren’t required to demonstrate mastery of subject matter through grades, employers and graduate programs will view degrees as less credible and less valuable in the long run. 

Campus Reform reports that 45% of companies say they plan to eliminate bachelor’s degree requirements for at least some positions in 2024 and 55% had already eliminated bachelor’s degree requirements in 2023.  Tesla, Apple, and Netflix are just a few of the companies that have cut degree requirements.  

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Most recently, the state of Massachusetts eliminated degree requirements for more than 90% of its job postings, putting more emphasis on skills-based hiring practices.

The trend of removing degree requirements in the job market may be accelerated by universities lowering academic standards and eliminating failing grades

Overall, it is crucial that universities maintain high academic standards and uphold the integrity of their grading systems to ensure students receive a quality education and are equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary for successful futures.