“Could You Round My Grade?”

A New Year greeting from a student:

Hi professor,
I was wondering what I received on the final essay, and how close I was to
receiving a C+ in your class. I am .7 away from reaching my scholarship
and was wondering by any chance if you could round my grade or if I can do
any extra credit of some sort to raise my grade. If there is anything I
can do please let me know.

Not sure what to do with this.  First: the student’s not even close to a C+, sitting with a final grade of 74%, after having missed one quiz, bombed most of the rest, and done poorly on the final (a take-home essay, no less).  In short: the student earned a C, not a C+.  I’m inclined to tell the student that, and comfort myself in having upheld the standards that we value so dearly.

But.  (A) Do I really want this student to not get the scholarship?  and (B) As a “Visiting Full-Time Instructor” (read: temp), do I really give a shit?  Is it worth the time, energy, grief, and potentially bad press at the  non-research, student-oriented institution where I am now teaching and hope to get another gig next year?

Internets, I call on thee for wisdom!

7 thoughts on ““Could You Round My Grade?”

  1. For those who are interested, here’s what I ended up doing. Man, I feel miserable…

    Thank you for your e-mail. I’m afraid that I can not agree to your requests. I’ll do my best here to explain why.
    You earned a 19/25, a C, on the final essay. Your top six quiz scores amounted to 44.5/60, also a C. And you earned an 11.5/15, a C, for class participation. In sum, you earned 75 points out of 100 possible for the semester. Unfortunately, 75/100 is not close to a C+; it is a C, the grade you earned for this course.
    Unfortunately, I do not provide extra credit opportunities; instead, I dropped each student’s lowest two quiz scores before computing the average. It would not be fair to the other students if I were to offer you extra credit now, as it would devalue the work that all students put into the class during the semester.
    I know this is not the answer that you wanted to hear, and for that I am truly sorry. I do hope that you’ll find an extra credit opportunity or chance to round up your grade in another class.
    If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

  2. Pingback: The Kids Are Alright « The Academy’s Bench Warmer

  3. Heh. I got this one:

    “A b+ is like an 88 or 89, why didn’t i get an A, is participation not worth 1 or 2 points?”

    That was the whole e-mail. No subject, no intro, salutation, anything. The student had seen hir final grade on Blackboard and dashed off an e-mail. Ha.

  4. Classic stuff, AMc. One wonders how much of this is due to the instructor’s (perceived) age and experience–as an adjunct, do I get more “why don’t you just bump my grade” requests than others?

  5. Possibly. But I’ve been here for 7 years, and this was an intro history class. Most students either know or know of me. I think this is typical stuff at any level. And it’s probably true, upon reflection, that I get less of that than when I was new.

    Now, I don’t get that kind of thing often, that’s for sure. I do get some special pleading. But I’m pretty clear at the beginning of the semester about what constitutes an A, B, C, etc.

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