Study of Grade Point Averages For Juniors and Seniors Fall 1984 to Fall 2004

A study of changes in aggregate GPAs for juniors and seniors was conducted by the Office of Institutional Research & Planning at the request of the Academic Procedures and Policies Committee of University Governance in Spring of 2006.

  • The analysis in NOT a study of grade inflation and does not compare course level grades for specific groups of students.
  • The study is a broad examination of the changes in GPAs over time at an institutional level as well as for the College and schools.
  • The analysis takes into account gender and ACT scores - factors identified by national research as influencing changes in grade patterns over time.
  • The study applies a Princeton University grading policy that no more than 55 percent of course grades awarded to juniors and seniors should be A's.
  • The average institutional GPA at KU increased during the 20-year period by approximately 0.20 points.
  • One contributing factor in the rise of average GPAs at the university level is the concurrent increase in the proportion of women, who on average have higher GPAs than their male counterparts.
  • Application of the Princeton University grading policy indicates that at an institutional level fewer than 55 percent of course grades awarded to juniors and seniors were A's.
  • The findings at KU are consistent with national trends. According to a 2005 report by the Association for the Study of Higher Education, empirical evidence indicates that institutional GPAs are trending upward across the country.

The full report in pdf format is available by clicking the following link.

GPA Study Report

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