Yeah, not bad for a City College boy. I bought my way in, now all these Ivy league schmucks are sucking my kneecaps. – Gordon Gekko, Wall Street
I have been hearing rumors about Harvard’s grade inflation for many years but now it’s confirmed.
They’re All Special
The most commonly awarded grade at Harvard is an A
“The median grade in Harvard College is indeed an A-,” the school’s dean of education said today, according to the student newspaper. Even more stunning: “The most frequently awarded grade in Harvard College is actually a straight A.”
That ought to dispel any notion that Harvard is tough on its students. Grade inflation may be a victimless crime, but what is the point of having a range of grades if half of them are A- or higher?
Accusations of grade inflation flare up frequently at Harvard and other college campuses. Harvard, in particular, has been accused of grading more softly than some of its rivals in the Ivy League.
Larry Summers, the former US Treasury secretary, was highly critical of the practice while he was president of the university. After he stepped down, he told an interviewer: “Ninety percent of Harvard graduates graduated with honors when I started. The most unique honor you could graduate with was none.” (source)
This definitely ruins the Harvard mystique. Just more mollycoddling for kids born with the proverbial silver spoon in their mouths.
At my university, all the profs graded you on the curve. At times it was a painful reminder that I wasn’t anything special.
On the plus side, revelations such as this can spur people on to create wealth so that their kids can get into a Harvard or Yale even if they’re not academically gifted. After all, Ivy League schools are really about the connections one makes.