Plus/minus grade system not changing despite critics

After many months of research and discussion, Student Government and the Faculty Senate have decided not to adjust the current plus/minus grading system.

For years, students have expressed dissatisfaction with the way course grades are calculated into their cumulative grade point averages.

Currently, if a student receives an A+ or A, they are both counted as four points in the GPA. But critics question why an A+ grade doesn’t count for more, which is the way the plus/minus system is intended to operate.

Josh Weiss, a senior and a SG senator of the College of Arts and Sciences, said “we felt it was useless to have an A+ designation that didn’t mean anything.”

The Academic Affairs Committee of Student Government had been looking into options to “correct” the current status of the grading system. One proposal was to count an A+ as 4.3 points.

After researching other Atlantic Coast Conference schools that are most similar to the University of Miami, the Academic Affairs Committee compiled an extensive report and presented it to the Academic Standards Committee of the Faculty Senate.

The students’ report found that all ACC schools except for Maryland, Georgia Tech and N.C. State use the same plus/minus method as UM. The committee said that there is no reason to adjust the current grading system.

Student Government is also looking at other options that could help students going on to law, medical or graduate schools.

With the backing of Vice Provost and Undergraduate Dean William S. Green, student leaders say one possibility is for final transcripts to include a marking or other distinction that would recognize a student’s A+ work in a class.

Valerie Marks may be contacted at

April 17, 2008


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.