U. Illinois implements 'Pass COVID/No Pass COVID' grading scale to 'help ease the stress'

The University of Illinois University Senate voted to implement a “Pass COVID / No Pass COVID” grading scale for the spring semester.

Some students and faculty expressed concern that the grading scale will negatively affect some majors.

The University of Illinois University Senate voted to implement a more lenient grading policy for the spring 2021 semester, despite the pandemic starting nearly one year ago. 

According to the Daily Illini students can choose to be graded on a “Pass COVID/No Pass COVID” grading scale. Unlike the previous Credit/No Credit policy, students who earn as low as a D- will receive credit for the course, and the grade will not affect their GPA.

Students who earn below a D- will have the option to receive a grade of “No Pass COVID,” whereas students who receive a D- or higher can elect to receive a “Pass COVID” grade.  

Students who opt for “No Pass COVID” will not receive credit for the course and the F will not be calculated in their GPA.

[RELATED: Gaming the system? Ivy league students capitalize on lax coronavirus grading]

”We have learned that students who earned grades of D (D+, D, D-) over the last two semesters have struggled trying to understand if they should have elected CR/NC or not,” the proposal noted

“The modifications have been written with the belief they may help ease the stress and anxiety of our higher achieving students,” the proposal also stated, according to the Champaign News-Gazette

The proposal extended the deadline to drop a course to 11:59 p.m. on May 5, which is the last day of instruction for classes.

Students and professors voiced concerns about the proposal at the senate meeting. 

Some expressed concern that the new policy will negatively affect certain majors, such as education, which require students to achieve grades of C- or higher to get into further educational programs or receive certain certifications. 

[RELATED: All eight Ivy League schools have adopted lax grading policies]

Ignoring these concerns, student senator Dana Yun claims “in the grand scheme of our entire student population,” the proposal will do more good than harm, according to the Daily Illini.

“I think we have to recognize that we may have saved lives,” Yun said. “And I think that’s so powerful.”

Follow the author of this article: Addison Pummill