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Rutgers announces 'Pass/No credit' optional grading system for fall semester

With Rutgers having operated mostly remote for the Fall 2020 semester due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, University President Jonathan Holloway said they will offer the "Pass/No Credit" option to better provide support for students who may have faced academic disruptions.  – Photo by Needpix

University President Jonathan Holloway sent an email on Wednesday to announce the option of a “Pass/No Credit” grading system for undergraduates this semester in light of the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Students will now have the ability to change any of their courses from traditional letter grading to a “Pass/No Credit” system, according to the email. 

“During the past few weeks, we have heard firsthand testimonials from many of you about how pervasive the disruption has been on you, your families and your support systems,” Holloway said, according to the email. “We want to support you during these trying times and provide you with some options to ameliorate the impact of COVID(-19).”

The Rutgers University Student Assembly previously distributed a survey to undergraduate and graduate students on the topic of implementing a “Pass/No Credit” policy for the Fall 2020 semester, according to an Assembly report. Approximately 98 percent of the 13,248 students who submitted responses supported the policy. 

Assembly President Nicholas LaBelle, a Rutgers Business School senior, and Vice President Ari Dublin, an Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy senior, said the survey was one of the most successful in Rutgers history, with more than 9300 students across the three institutions filling out the survey within 24 hours, according to an Instagram post.

Holloway said students should speak to their academic advisors before implementing “Pass/No Credit” grading due to potential negative effects on financial aid standing, academic progress, immigration status and career paths, according to the email.

“We understand that these are unprecedented and challenging times,” he said, according to the email. “The final details of implementing the Pass/No Credit program are being developed, but we assure you that you will have the opportunity to choose this option after the semester is completed and within one week after your final course grades have been posted.”

Holloway said campus provosts and chancellors will provide further details on implementing the grading system next week, according to the email.

“We admire your resilience and appreciate your feedback and engagement as we strive to be responsive to your needs,” he said, according to the email. “We remain committed to your academic progress as well as your safety and well-being.”

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