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University announces 'general credit' addition to Spring 2020 grading options

Students can now either use the traditional grading scale or a credit/general credit/no credit option

In response to “input from faculty and students,” University Provost Liz Magill has added a “general credit” grade to what was previously understood to be a credit/no credit system.
In response to “input from faculty and students,” University Provost Liz Magill has added a “general credit” grade to what was previously understood to be a credit/no credit system.

Students may now choose to receive “general credit” in classes for which they receive a passing grade, according to a University-wide email from Laura F. Hawthorne, associate vice provost and University registrar. The announcement also detailed how the University plans to allow students to choose their grading options in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Students will automatically be transitioned into the credit/general credit/no credit option April 24 at 8:00 am. Students will then have the option to opt in to taking courses for a grade. This option will be available to students until April 28 at 11:59 p.m.

“All undergraduate transcripts for the Spring 2020 term will note that CR/GC/NC grading was the default grading option for U.Va. undergraduate classes in response to the global pandemic,” Hawthorne wrote.

In response to “input from faculty and students,” University Provost Liz Magill has added a “general credit” grade to what was previously understood to be a credit/no credit system. Regardless of which grade students receive in this system, their GPA will not change.

Students will be awarded credit if they receive a C or higher in any course. According to the released email, credit will count for all undergraduate degree requirements, including prerequisites, general education requirements, as well as majors and minors. 

Students will be awarded general credit for a passing grade below a C. If students choose to receive general credit, they will still receive credit hours associated with the course. The General Credit option will also fill undergraduate requirements that can be met by a passing grade lower than C. 

Students who do not have a passing grade will receive no credit, which will not fulfill any requirements. 

The decision has received some pushback from students, with fourth-year College student Ellie Brasacchio questioning why students must choose between a graded and C/GCR/NC option before final exams in a Twitter post Wednesday.

“Still don't understand why we have to choose between CR/GCR/NC and a grade option BEFORE we have our final grades calculated,” Brasacchio wrote. “Why not let us see what our final grade will be so we can decide if we want it or not?”

Another student on Twitter pointed out that the opt-out CR/GCR/NC option fails to consider the different circumstances in which students are taking online classes — allowing some students to boost their grade point averages while others may choose to obtain credit due to challenges at home. 

Hawthorne encourages students attempting to decide between the two options to consider the policies of graduate and professional schools — some of which may not accept classes taken for credit. 

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