Getting an A+ is Just For Decoration

Currently at Queens College, there is no difference between an “A” grade and an “A+” grade. Sure, it may look nicer when your future employer looks down your transcript and sees a long string of A+’s, yet they might stop at the bottom and wonder why your cumulative gpa wasn’t higher. For many students looking to go to graduate school and apply for jobs, one or two bad classes could ruin what would otherwise be a perfect gpa.

Queens College, like the majority of universities in the U.S. does not award higher than a 4.0 for an A+. A and A+ equal the same thing. Well, for someone who puts in a lot of work throughout the semester, where’s the incentive to do A+ work. Don’t some students excel beyond a teacher’s expectations for the class? They should be rewarded for their hard work with a grade higher than a 4.0. It doesn’t even have to be a 4.3. It could be just a 4.1. This would not only encourage students to go beyond the expectations of the class, it would also help those students who didn’t quite make the transition from high school to college when they took that philosophy class in freshmen year and got a B.

Queens College may not have a system like the one in Stanford University where it does reward students with a higher gpa because they worry about grade inflation. They might worry that the school’s grades would carry less weight if hundreds of people graduate with 4.0’s or better. Well, maybe at Queens we really do have hundreds of students going the extra mile. It’s not like A+’s are given out for nothing. Teachers reserve it for the one or two students in the class who really did excel beyond their expectations. Those are the students you should reward.

Teachers would still have control over how many A+’s they give out. But now, the plus wouldn’t just be decoration on a student’s transcript. Now it might mean something.