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Moral hazard concerning GPAs

questionnairequestionnaire Registered User Posts: 23 Junior Member
http://www.browndailyherald.com/2009/03/06/no-gpas-at-brown/

Would you say the behavior discussed here is symptomatic of a moral hazard that the lack of an official GPA makes possible, or the justified liberty provided by the more progressive and true-to-educational-philosophy nature of the Brown curriculum?

For instance, I know that while the school officially announced through official documents (such as the Brown Grading Policy) that they do not endorse a GPA, the law school advising page and the biomed graduate school admissions advice page both provide guidelines for calculating GPAs where applicable -- such as the 4.0 A, 3.0 B, 2.0 C, and 0.0 for anything below. However the article above suggests that these are only guidelines which students have no obligation whatsoever to follow in applying to jobs or graduate schools.

I think for people who have low grades, this gives them a sort of wiggling room. In general if this low performance was due to experimenting and innovative exploration, then I think this wiggling room is well-deserved and will even result in more innovative and creative people in the workforce. However, one could wonder whether this distinctive feature is a sort of cheating, where the advantage of the blind GPA is poorly deserved even if you take into account the fact that students could learn more from the open curriculum by taking risks?
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Replies to: Moral hazard concerning GPAs

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 73,793 Senior Member
    Law schools and medical schools each have official methods of calculating application GPA for their purposes, so it is not like students can make up their GPAs any way they want for those purposes.
  • questionnairequestionnaire Registered User Posts: 23 Junior Member
    What about for jobs and business school admissions?
  • Emsmom1Emsmom1 Registered User Posts: 1,020 Senior Member
    Anything below a C doesn't show up on the official transcript that the students at Brown send to law or med schools. It's on the internal transcript but not the transcript students send.
  • i_wanna_be_Browni_wanna_be_Brown Forum Champion Brown Posts: 8,256 Forum Champion
    edited September 2017
    I've literally never heard of anyone doing anything other than A = 4, B = 3, C = 2. Pretty sure you are creating a scenario that doesn't exist. All the "no GPA" thing means is that on your transcript there is just a list of courses with A, B or C next to them and no GPA at the bottom.
  • questionnairequestionnaire Registered User Posts: 23 Junior Member
    The link I provided on the original post says that the alumnus did not put anything where he should have put his GPA.
  • i_wanna_be_Browni_wanna_be_Brown Forum Champion Brown Posts: 8,256 Forum Champion
    edited September 2017
    That's entirely different from putting a fake GPA by using one's own guidelines.

    You are also referencing a graduate of the class of 1988 aka someone who graduated 30 years ago. I myself even wrote about a graduate of the 70s who took ALL his classes S/NC and is now a physician. That would almost certainly be impossible now (outside PLME) and the school very much advises against it.

    Whether or not Brown "calculates GPA" the fact is the transcript has As, Bs, and Cs, on it and all classes have the same credit weight. Doesn't take much for an employer to look over the transcript and estimate a GPA or even calculate it outright.
  • questionnairequestionnaire Registered User Posts: 23 Junior Member
    But would it be legally reprehensible for someone to put anything in the ballpark of what the transcript says, given the fact that there is no official reference for the GPA?
    I'm saying that the system allows someone to do such a thing and get away with it.
  • questionnairequestionnaire Registered User Posts: 23 Junior Member
    This can be problematic in cases where the transcript and other supporting documents is asked after someone is hired, not in the initial CV screening process.
  • questionnairequestionnaire Registered User Posts: 23 Junior Member
    In other words the lack of the exact number can influence who gets the interview and who doesn't which I think is related to the GPA.
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 30,929 Senior Member
    What moral hazard unique to Brown ? In theory, anyone can fudge a gpa. The issue is will you get away with it?

    Increasingly, today, no.

    You think you get an interview solely on gpa? That experience, training and related skills play second fiddle?

    Since you seem to be on campus, why not ask the career support folks for guidance?

  • i_wanna_be_Browni_wanna_be_Brown Forum Champion Brown Posts: 8,256 Forum Champion
    A=4, B=3, C=2. There is no other calculation "allowed," nor have I ever heard anyone suggest calculating one's GPA at Brown in any other fashion.
  • questionnairequestionnaire Registered User Posts: 23 Junior Member
    I'm talking about cases where you choose to not calculate.
    Besides, the fact that A=4, B=3, C=2 is not "official" means that even though that method may be conventional you are by no means legally bound to use that method.
  • questionnairequestionnaire Registered User Posts: 23 Junior Member
    After all, isn't documentation and legislation necessary to oblige someone to follow a rubric originally meant only for law school admissions(A=4, B=3, C=2)?
  • questionnairequestionnaire Registered User Posts: 23 Junior Member
    To quote the CCC, it says "Students and others may
    sometimes make their own calculations from transcript records, but such calculations in
    no way reflect an official university statistic."

    Nowhere does it say it is illegal to make your own calculations. After all, A=4, B=3, C=2 is already a form of self-calculation which the university does not endorse, since it endorses no GPA.
  • questionnairequestionnaire Registered User Posts: 23 Junior Member
    Also, if you take into account the fact that no other school(at least amon leaves out Fs in GPA calculation, the A=4 or whatever rubric is already void and is an unfair advantage. Who's to do the regulating on this?


    I'm still confused if the A=4, B=3, C=2 is conventional enough to be the norm or even the rule, why the university does not officially declare this to be the case. In any case, thank you for your responses. I now have a clearer idea on calculating my GPA.
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