Assuming Google didn't answer your question, I have no idea of the WSJ has new rankings. I DO think if Cornell inflated its grades, grad school admissions WOULD be higher. Whether or not that would make Cornell students on the whole better off is anyone's guess...For me, I stand by what I said above.
My D, a current sophomore in CAS, does get discouraged with some of the grading and it's not for lack of studying effectively or for not being smart enough - she earned her way in through hard work in a competitive hs, so let's not take that away from her. She does complain about "working so very, very hard just to get a B" in some classes. It becomes difficult when GPA is the driving force for grad school or med school. She watches some kids do some pretty underhanded things to undermine the grades of fellow students in these same classes...
This whole median grade thing on the transcripts could really work negatively against those currently going for pre-med. Have they even posted the med school admissions from Cornell since they have started doing this? While my D is not pre-med, she would like to be able to attend a decent graduate program. Although she loves other aspects of Cornell, sometimes I do wonder if this is all worth it. I am just being honest.
Have they published any recent med school stats since the median grade reports were added to the official transcripts a year or so ago.
It seems that students can become fixated on "statistics" because of this data. My D's cousin, a freshman pre-med at Cornell, not only talks about her grades incessantly, but she fills us in on exactly where she falls in terms of mean, median, etc as compared to the rest of her class in every single class that she is taking and so do her parents and now the grandparents. It seems a bit much to me and also a bit unhealthy.
My younger daughter is a freshman at Cornell. She is pre-law, so she is also very concerned abou. She got few Bs on her first few writing assignments (including her major) and she did freak out because she needs high GPA to get into a top law school. I used to get a lot of panic calls from her in the beginning, but after going to many office hours she is feeling a lot more comfortable with her grades and what's expected of her.
Freshmen tend obsessive over their grades more because they are not used to getting anything below A. Some high schools do not prepare their students as well and some those students need to do catch up work. It is a huge step up for them to be doing college level work - pace is faster and more material is covered.
Again, I do not understand how publishing median grades could hurt Cornell students. If people claim Cornell grading is harder than other schools, wouldn't showing median grades help to validate that?
I am a student here. I said this before: Nothing is more telling than the wall street journal survey which showed cornell as one of the worst for admission to top grad school schools. I saw it for the first time here on cc the other day. if I had seen it before, I would not have come here!!! Even worse, read the response of the cornell rep to the survey.... they can't even dispute it. The grading at this place is sad and hurts students in so many ways its crazy that the students have not yet done anything to change the hard grading policies, I guess we don't have the time. If this kind of extremely hard grading or median grading was going on at Columbia or Stanford, etc.., the student body there would for sure be protesting or walking out of classes.
If you read any of these kinds of web site like cc, the complaints about lousy grad school admissions and hard grading is a cornell problem and not something that goes on at any college. The thing is that us students here are paying tuition for lousy grading during college that also hurts us after college. Whatever.
Oldfort, I get what you are saying about high school prep. I went to a good prep school, Exeter. A lot of my class went to top schools, and only the ones that went to Cornell are complaining. I would be pretty surprised if there is any other college in the whole country that has a student body as dissatisfied with grading as cornell does. Do you think the WSJ is incorrect? Why does Cornell have 1/2 the admit rate to top schools compared to other ivys..... and premed students who get in a 1/2 the rate of other ivys. My roommate says Cornell has not released premed data for over 2 years, since the median grade on transcript started. Hard for a premed here when you see like only 1/2 of our students getting in and then see about 100% of Columbia, Duke or Amherst etc.,,, students getting in. My roommate talks about this all the time and just wishes that Cornell would wake up and see whats happening. Cornell, a great school for sure but grading really hurts for grad school admissions. The WSJ article and the survey of cornell students in the first post basically shows the whole problem...... Cornell ranked lowest of the ivys in almost all categories in their own survey. There is a link in one of the posts on page 1 in this thread. What does that tell you?? Lowest % of alumni contributing, what does that show? The hard grading here is not good for the students, and the median grade makes the problem much, much worse. If a school like Columbia or Yale or Duke or Georgetown even thought about having the grading that we have here at cornell, half the student body would probably pick up and leave, or their parents would have them transferred out. Like alum at Harvard or Yale would ever allow their own school to have crazy hard grading that hurts their own legacy, legacy that pay tuition and will some day contribute.. . . not gonna happen. Why Cornell is grading its own students the way it does is hard to figure out. Would you want to be trying to go to a top law school from Cornell with our crazy grading? It is not like we can just write on the top of a law school application, oh by the way, we have lousy grading here so bump up our GPA by a few points. Does not work like that. I think the wall street journal shows the problem of grading at cornell in a real world way. I've looked at a lot of grad school applications and web sites, and they almost all say the grading at the school where you graduated is not considered. Great, now the students from like every other school in the country have an edge over us before we even start.
As for Princeton, their policy is not mandatory and if you talk to anyone who goes there, almost every grade is still an A. Professors there can opt out of the cap.
All this, just my opinion. Do your own research and make your own decision.
I believe that perhaps the new policy of publishing median grades on transcripts could, in fact, hurt students across different schools at Cornell because "assumptions" could now be made by admissions people about courses/majors/schools based on the median grades that certain classes/majors/schools are not as rigorous as others. Now grad schools and med schools have some pretty direct comparisons of students across schools at Cornell that they did not have before.
I personally do not like the idea of the median grade reports on transcripts. For some reason, it does not seem like it will be of benefit to students but time will tell how this will play out in med school and grad school admissions.
If a school like Columbia or Yale or Duke or Georgetown even thought about having the grading that we have here at cornell, half the student body would probably pick up and leave, or their parents would have them transferred out.
Are you saying that some how Cornell students and parents do not have other options, or they are too ignorant to leave?
As for Princeton, their policy is not mandatory and if you talk to anyone who goes there, almost every grade is still an A.
Based on a study that was done (I provided a link up post), Princeton's median grade is even lower than Cornell's. I think it is in the 3.25 range.
I personally think if you all feel that strongly about Cornell's grading system, you should take some initiatives in speaking with the administration.
I saw that study about GPAs, it is like 25 years old. The problem is what the Wall Street Journal reported about the real world, that cornell grads do so poorly against grads from other schools when applying to graduate school. The problem is that the survey done by Cornell shows the lowest satisfaction in the ivy league. The problem is that cornell grads contribute far less as a % than any of the other ivys. If you were a student here, you would know what is going on with the crazy grading sysytem and median grades. It is nice to think that it does not make a big difference. Real world is that When we graduate from here we will have on average far lower gpas than other ivys, the WSJ article shows how the grading at cornell has completely put us at a disadvantage. Look at the WSJ survey, look at the survey done by cornell, look at how poorly our grads are doing at getting into graduate programs and you will see what is going on. if any of your children apply to law school, like I might some day do, how do we go up against students from Columbia or other top schools where almost every grade is an A?? If you graduated from Cornell these days, would you want to contribute as an alum? My opinion here. Look at the data from the wall street journal and cornell , etc and make your own decision.
And HELL NO to ILR. I would rather just drop the Econ major as a whole but stay in CAS. I didn't work hard in high school just to go to a college which takes Community College transfers with 1800 SATs. No offense to ILRies, but seriously. I would just never do that.
I like Government and wouldn't transfer out of CAS. I sound like an elitist, but PAM is in HumEc. It's just a complete downgrade. I'd rather be miserable than demote myself to PAM or ILR. AEM is probably lateral with CAS, but I wouldn't do that either.
I like this kid. Just a freshman and already understands the hierarchy system.
Look at the WSJ survey, look at the survey done by cornell, look at how poorly our grads are doing at getting into graduate programs and you will see what is going on. if any of your children apply to law school, like I might some day do, how do we go up against students from Columbia or other top schools where almost every grade is an A??
All semi-kidding aside, this guy is the real reason I logged on. Holy sh** cry me a river. Are you actually trying to say Cornell is the hardest school out of the Ivies? Please. First of all, it all depends on the major. Hotel, AEM, ILR, etc. are ridiculously easy and I'm frankly not sure how you could ever argue that those majors are hard in any sense of the word. Engineering, hard sciences, etc. are hard wherever you go. I would bet almost anything that it's harder to get A's at Princeton engineering (which actually has grade deflation) than Cornell engineering. I would really like for you to go to those other schools you think are "so much easier" - with the exception of Brown which is mostly true - and see how you fare. You forget that the students there are smarter, so if the classes are curved, you'll actually end up worse even though the median grade might be slightly higher.
The top students at Cornell will have their pick of grad schools and jobs just like the top students at any other good school. I'm not an advocate of putting median grades on transcripts myself, but you're taking this way too seriously. I assume you're complaining so much because you're not doing too well at Cornell (I pray to God you're in an actual hard major), but let me assure you that you would most likely not be any better off at the other Ivies, except that you wouldn't have median grades on your transcript, which I do believe Dartmouth does as well.
My D is doing very well at Cornell, and she may not even pursue any post graduate studies so my concerns do not affect her directly. I am just trying to understand what the purpose of the median grades on the transcript is, and if the publishing of these grades will now affect students at Cornell from different schools when applying for the same spots in graduate and med schools. Now schools have a lot more information to use when considering Cornell students against each other for these spots and those high GPA's in certain known "easy" majors may not carry as much weight as they used to in gaining admission.
As far as I know, there is no data available from when the median grades have been added to transcripts, so it may be hard to gauge their impact. I think these are fair concerns to raise and I believe that it is always okay to have questions since many families such as ourselves have put a lot on the line to pay the tuition. Just because I have questions does not mean I do not like Cornell. I am just curious.
My D has a friend who admits that she picked her major because she knows she can get a very high GPA and she does not have to fulfill the language requirements and other math/science requirements that would "kill her GPA" even though she hates her major. She plans on attending Harvard Law upon graduation and she is convinced that this particular major will yield a much higher GPA than one that she is actually interested in and is the ticket in. I was just wondering if publishing the median grades would negate the "easy major, high GPA" route now.
My D loves her major and Cornell and it is absolutely the right school for her because of this. We feel grateful and fortunate that she is there. That said, I am never afraid to ask a few questions, especially when this is a topic that tends to surface from time to time.
I am so sick of hearing that ILR is so easy. My D1 graduated an ILR major with an IT minor. An IT minor is basically computer science.
In her second semester senior year she took a course for her minor in which she was the only non engineering or computer science student in the class. It was very challenging for her. I believe she only got a B+ or A -.
She took calculus, accounting and finance as electives. She had many economics and statistics courses for her major. And she found her major courses interesting and challenging.
She graduated with a 3.9 GPA.
I challenge any of you to suggest she had an easy load.
I also challenge that Cornell has harder grading than other schools. It may not suffer from as much grade inflation as other schools ( thank you Cornell), but it still has grade inflation.
The problem is the entitled generation. I "deserve", "have earned" , "need" or just "demand" something. "it's not fair" is another chant.
I don't think it should be hard to get a B in the majority of classes. Since we don't have a strict percentage of each grade in each class (which would be a completely illogical policy; what if all the kids in the class happened to be geniuses and future Nobel Prize winners?), the grade is a function of how much work you put in, how much aptitude you have for it, and teacher bias. If the teacher is biased against you or you have zero aptitude for the subject, drop the class. If it is fulfilling a distribution/breadth requirement, take a different course to fulfill that requirement. If it cannot be replaced with any other course, reconsider your major, accept the low grade, or work really really hard, but I doubt this scenario is true for more than 1 or 2 classes over all 4 years of college, if that. Aside from those rare cases, getting a B should not require too much effort (though an A could). (Studying for a day before each exam, going out and drinking heavily every weekend night and many week nights, and skipping several classes does not count as "effort," although many people that I have met here seem to think so.)
The university realized that students were using the median grade reports that used to be published openly to take "easy" classes to bump up GPA,s, so they solved the problem by no longer publishing the median grade for students to see. Why were students taking classes with a high median grade? They wanted "easy" classes. Some students admit that the only reason they are in certain majors is because they want a high GPA. Now, the median grade is on the transcript. Will these same majors carry the same weight in gaining med school and grad school admissions?
Why is it that when anyone questions anything, the assumption is that they must be doing poorly, are just not smart or like to party a lot. I think the above poster is a bit simplistic. Sure A's and B's are very attainable in the majority of classes, but grading does differ across majors and so do required classes. Like I said, my D is not planning on attending grad school or med school so she is not affected by this. Yet, she will be interested to see how those that she knows that admit that they are taking these "easy" majors that yield high GPA's fare because they are convinced that this route will land them in Harvard Law and med school.