WSU rolls out new 'COVID grade' for students who fail classes

Washington State University is implementing a “No Record, COVID grade” as an option for students facing hardships during the pandemic.

The new grade will not award students credit for the class.

Washington State University announced the addition of its new grading system for the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters, which was created for students facing COVID-19 hardships.

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The new grading system, dubbed “No Record, COVID grade” can be used by most students to replace a withdrawal grade or a grade of C- and lower. Credit will not be given to students opting for the “no record, COVID grade,” however. Professional health science students are unable to use the option, according to the university website.

According to WSU’s Frequently Asked Questions, the NRC policy proposal was introduced because of the recognition that “remote learning can be challenging for students as you try to balance other roles and responsibilities.” WSU added that “the NRC grade allows courses to be excluded from calculations of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) for federal and state financial aid purposes.”

In order for students to be able to choose the option of an NRC grade, they need to provide a “COVID-related” reason that would allow them to be accepted for the choice. Some viable COVID-related reasons may be lack of internet access and “stable housing.” However, students are not required to provide proof of this.

Students can currently request an NRC from the time that final grades are posted between December 23 and January 6. 

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Washington State University’s Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Mary Wack pointed Campus Reform to two links that describe the new grading policy and a document with frequently asked questions. 

Washington State University’s Vice President for Marketing and Communications Phil Weiler told Campus Reform: “As you are in no doubt aware, the No Record COVID grade is an approach being used by other universities across the country this fall as well, including the University of Michigan and Michigan State University.” 

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