The extension of the interim pass/fail policy provides students an option to save their GPA instead of withdrawing from the class this semester.

The policy was implemented for the spring 2020 semester, but the provost’s office has extended the policy through the spring 2021 semester.

The pass/fail policy at Kent State allows students to choose another option for a grade for most courses at the end of the semester. Instead of receiving a letter grade that affects a student's GPA, the class will just be listed as a pass or a fail grade on their transcript.

This version of pass/fail is different from the normal way pass/fail is offered. Before 2020, pass/fail was offered for specific classes, and students had to choose between a letter grade and pass/fail at the beginning of the year, instead of the end.

Students who need a certain GPA for eligibility for a program or acceptance to graduate school have benefited from this policy.

For example, Matthew Reardon, a junior air traffic control major used pass/fail during the spring semester last year. He participates in Kent State’s esports team as a varsity player, and the policy ensured his eligibility for the team.

“It was more difficult to get used to the online aspects of those classes,” Reardon said, “and it did not feel like I was getting punished because of the policy.”

There are a lot of exceptions to this policy, so students should be cautious with how they use the pass/fail:

  • Some courses are not available for pass/fail
  • For prerequisite courses, you still need to achieve the minimum letter grade to move onto the next course even if you make the class pass/fail.
  • Through the next three semesters, only four classes are allowed to be pass/fail, and students can only choose two classes a semester they want to do pass/fail.
  • For undergraduate courses, letter grades A through D will be converted to the pass grade, and the letter grade F will be converted to the fail grade.
  • For graduate courses, letter grades A through C will be converted to the pass grade, and letter grades C- through F will be converted to the fail grade.

“Everybody is in some level of despair in this COVID time, so if the university can cut some sort of slack with a student-friendly pass/fail policy then I’m all for it,” physics professor Jon Secaur said.

Ben Vrobel is an administration reporter. Contact him at bvrobel@kent.edu.

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Hi, I’m Lauren Sasala, a senior journalism student from Toledo. I’m also the editor in chief of The Kent Stater and KentWired this semester. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important news about Kent State and the Kent community. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate.

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