Grade Inflation

January 19, 2011
Posted by Jay Livingston

John Sides at The Monkey Cage posted ths final gradesheet from a Goverment course that John F. Kennedy took in 1939-40.

(Click on the image for a larger view.)

JFK’s B- isn’t bad. Although that was the modal grade, the class mean and median were a C+. I haven’t seen any gradesheets from current Government courses at Harvard, but I would expect that a B- would fall pretty far down the curve. And just for the record, it was Kennedy’s lowest grade that term. In his other courses, he got two Bs and a B+.

UPDATE. Jan. 25. Lisa Wade at Sociological Images has more on this topic-- a graph of grades in US colleges going back as far as 1920 -- and a link to the source,, which has much, much more.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"about half of the grades awarded in recent years to Harvard undergraduates were either A's or A-'s, a sizable increase from a generation ago."