Princeton is trying to get professors to deflate grades.
Since Princeton took the lead among Ivy League schools to formally adopt a grade-deflation policy three years ago â€” limiting A’s to an average 35% across departments â€” students say the pressure to score the scarcer A has intensified. Students say they now eye competitive classmates warily and shy away from classes perceived as difficult.
. . . There is no quota in individual courses, despite what students think, says Dean of the College Nancy Malkiel. Still, the policy has made an A slightly more elusive. In the first two years, A’s, (A-plus, A, A-minus), accounted for 41% of undergrad grades, down from 47% the two previous years.
Other Ivy League schools are watching Princeton with interest, but not emulating its policy.
At Cornell, courses in which A is the median grade have grown in popularity since the university started to post course averages online.