New revisions in the grading policy for the fall 2020 and winter 2021 semesters will offer undergraduates on the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus the choice of keeping traditional letter grades or using Pass and No Record COVID assessments on their transcripts.

In a message sent Nov. 13 to faculty and students, and highlighted during the university’s weekly COVID update, Provost Susan M. Collins said the changes were made to recognize the unprecedented challenges and adjustments students and faculty face in finishing the current semester and may continue to face next semester.

“We recognize the enormous stress that comes with balancing courses, the realities of COVID-19, and the myriad other events that have shaped the term,” Collins said. “The intention of the modification is to give students additional flexibility to successfully complete the semester and remain on a path toward their goals.”

Under the revised policy, undergraduate students will have the option to change any or all of their letter grades of A through C to Pass.

The current grading policy, announced earlier this year and which provides that all grades of D or below be entered as NRC, for No Record COVID — with the option to request it be converted to a letter grade — will remain in effect. 

The more flexible late-drop policy, allowing students to withdraw from a course at any time up until the end of classes and not have the course appear on their official transcript, also will remain in effect.

Collins said students will have until July 1, 2021, to make the one-time election for fall 2020 classes, and until Nov. 1, 2021, for winter 2021 classes. Students are strongly advised to discuss the possible implications of their decision with their advisers. These implications could include impacts on financial aid and progress toward their degree.

The Rackham Graduate School also is adopting additional modifications to grading. These changes will provide Rackham students with a one-time option to change any or all of their letter grades of A+ through B- to S for Satisfactory.

Previous modifications to the 2020-21 Rackham grading policy announced in August, which included the notation of NRC for grades C+ to E, will remain in place.

Students in non-Rackham professional programs should check with their schools or colleges for any grading policy changes.

“The university remains committed to continuing to listen to feedback coming from the community and acting to appropriately support students as we move forward,” Collins said.

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