Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Need vs. Merit

Scholarships and grades aren’t the same thing.

In the world of college scholarships, there are two main types of scholarships: need-based and merit-based. Need-based scholarships are awarded according to a formula that takes into account the student’s financial resources, or lack thereof, without regard to how well the student does academically, aside from some fairly minimal standards. Merit-based scholarships are awarded based on the student’s academic accomplishment, with no or little regard for financial matters.

In the world of grades, there is (or at least, in an ideal world there should be) only one criterion: merit. A grade should reflect the student’s accomplishments in the class, and not anything else. Unfortunately, a lot of the students I get, especially the younger ones just out of high school, don’t seem to understand the concept. I hear the argument all the time: “But I really need to pass this class, or I can’t continue with my major.”

Here is my response to such students: You have chosen to attend class only sporadically, and you have chosen not to complete much of the homework. You have chosen not to revise your work when revision is in order. Therefore, you have chosen not to get a passing grade in this class. I can not give you a passing grade simply because you need it. In fact, I never give anybody any sort of grade; you get the grade that you earn. If a passing grade is critical to your future career path, it is your responsibility, not mine, to make sure that you get a passing grade. I am perfectly willing to sit down with you and go over your papers and help you to improve them. Or you can go to the tutoring center and get help there. But when you do neither, and then you continue not to take the class seriously, there is nothing I can do at the end of the term other than to record the failing grade you have earned.


Anonymous AdriftAtSea said...

well said... :)

Thu Nov 16, 04:43:00 AM MST  
Anonymous Scott Carle said...

I'm in awe :)
you go girl.. :) give them the grades they! earn :)

Mon Nov 20, 06:39:00 PM MST  

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