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grade inflation at columbia

freekfyrefreekfyre Posts: 76Registered User Junior Member
edited October 2008 in Columbia University
is there a lot of grade inflation here? i know that cornell has next to none, and every other ivy (esp HYP) have insane grade inflation.
Post edited by freekfyre on
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Replies to: grade inflation at columbia

  • WindowShoppingWindowShopping Posts: 286Registered User Junior Member
    I think it has been shown that the average gpa at Columbia has gone up from something like a 3.1 to a 3.3 over the past maybe twenty years. I don't know the specifics. But I'm also not sure if this could be attributed to grade inflation. Even if half the grades at Columbia are As (especially in humanities classes that generally don't curve), I oftentimes think it's justified based on anticipated student performance. My feeling is if they're good enough for Columbia, they're probably going to do quite well in the classroom, and if they slack off, they'll probably still do no worse than a B or B-.
  • sacsac Posts: 1,547Registered User Senior Member
    There are two issues that often get confounded: grade inflation and honors inflation. The criticism of Harvard, for example, stemmed from the statistic that about 90 percent of students there at one point graduated with honors.

    So, to answer your question about Columbia. Yes, there is grade inflation. I've read that more than 50% of grades received are in the A range, and that there are very few Cs. In many classes, the curve is set so that the median is a B or a B+ or, at worst, a B-, rather than a C. So, most people get As and Bs. However, that does not mean there is honors inflation, because the university restricts the percentage who can graduate with honors. Princeton, in contrast, has set a percentage for the number of As given out in each course.
  • Columbia2002Columbia2002 Posts: 4,529Registered User Senior Member
    Does CC still put the class curve (i.e., the percentage of grades that were A-/A/A+) on the official transcripts? I always thought it was kind of pointless.
  • vrgulativrgulati Posts: 190Registered User Junior Member
    yeah, there is grade inflation. it's not as bad as harvard's, but still. here, you can get by with a B in pretty much any class, with minimal work put in. if you want an A, that's when you have to start working hard.
  • WindCloudUltraWindCloudUltra Posts: 1,761Registered User Senior Member
    Vrgulati...I assume you attend Columbia. How would you know if it's better or worse than Harvard?
  • Columbia2002Columbia2002 Posts: 4,529Registered User Senior Member
    here, you can get by with a B in pretty much any class, with minimal work put in. if you want an A, that's when you have to start working hard.

    If you want an A and don't want to work that hard, you can either be 1) really smart and/or efficient or 2) do a really good job with your course selection given some classes have much more grade inflation than others.
  • DenzeraDenzera Posts: 3,371Registered User Senior Member
    In fact, I think I know mr. vrgulati. He may have stayed overnight at my place as a prefrosh.

    and C2002 is spot on. There are two kinds of people at Columbia: those who got in by working their butts off and have discipline and organization in spades, and those who are so surpassingly brilliant that everything comes easy to them and they seem to waft through without doing work. I guess there's also the legacy/prep kids, but they're a small minority.
  • ictantiictanti Posts: 100Registered User Junior Member
    Columbia2002, I'm not sure if Columbia still prints the class' grade distribution on the transcript, but I believe law schools (and others) use this information. So, I suppose it's not entirely pointless.
  • epiphanyepiphany Posts: 7,308Registered User Senior Member
    freekfrye, Princeton has grade *deflation*, as well as quotas.
  • columbia2007columbia2007 Posts: 906Registered User Member
    Does CC still put the class curve (i.e., the percentage of grades that were A-/A/A+) on the official transcripts? I always thought it was kind of pointless.

    It does for classes of a certain size. CCSC got the administration to remove this statistic for small seminar classes (I presume because people were upset there may have been visibly high percentages of As in those).
  • bluelotusbluelotus Posts: 14Registered User New Member
    anyone know how the grade inflation is at SEAS?

    i'd love to go to columbia for econ, but i probably have no shot, so im probably going to apply into SEAS, most likely into the IEOR dept. most engineering schools have like crazy avg gpa's like 2.5 or something, i hope columbia is a little easier...
  • DenzeraDenzera Posts: 3,371Registered User Senior Member
    That may not be the attitude you want to take at an institution like Columbia.

    And SEAS isn't any easier, that's for sure. The spec published some numbers about the average GPA differential a few years ago, I think. You could look it up and post here.
  • bluelotusbluelotus Posts: 14Registered User New Member
    I'm not trying to take the easy way out or anything, and I know I'm gonna work hard either way - it's more of, I don't want to get into something I can't handle type of situation.

    That is, if I interpreted your statement correctly.
    What exactly did you mean by "That may not be the attitude you want to take at an institution like Columbia." - sorry that may have sounded borderline hostile in tone, no harm intend.

    I'll see if I can find that data, if I can I'll post it, if someone else has access to it, it would be appreciated if they posted it.
  • Columbia2002Columbia2002 Posts: 4,529Registered User Senior Member
    anyone know how the grade inflation is at SEAS?

    i'd love to go to columbia for econ, but i probably have no shot, so im probably going to apply into SEAS, most likely into the IEOR dept. most engineering schools have like crazy avg gpa's like 2.5 or something, i hope columbia is a little easier...

    I don't think this is too bad a question. Who wants to go to a school that actively weeds people out and has forced curves to fail a certain number of people? That's what some engineering programs are like -- particularly ones where anyone can get in. Columbia engineering's not like that. It isn't going to be easy, but it isn't the type of school where you're going to have to work your butt of just to have a chance at passing.
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