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Wow! Penn Really Not Gonna Change to Pass/Fail


Photo by the Daily Pennsylvanian

Wendell Pritchett’s latest email provided some disheartening news for many Penn students, Penn will be sticking to it’s “opt-in” pass/fail grading system. Public response to the move was overwhelmingly negative as some students are put at a disadvantage due to lack of resources and others claim, “the stress of having to study is too much for them.”

We questioned students to get their thoughts on the news. Chris Reid (C ‘23) states, “at first, when the college sent out that email reminding people the opt-in pass/fail deadline was the 13th, I was like, ‘woah, I guess they are really doubling-down here.’ I thought that they would actually make us opt-in by the 13th!” Reid, a naive freshman, still believed that Penn would never force students into a tough situation by giving them short notice for action. 

Senior Catherine McArther (C ‘20) knew better. “I saw them send out that email and I was like, ‘Nope, not a chance. They’re gonna switch to mandatory pass/fail, but like, at the last possible minute. Classic Penn.’ When I heard that Yale had made the swap, I started counting down the days.” Unfortunately, Penn did not switch to mandatory pass/fail, and instead extended the pass/fail opt-in deadline. 

Amanda Bryant (C ‘21) stated, “I can’t believe that Penn said they’re not going to switch to mandatory pass/fail. I haven’t been attending lectures, and now I don’t know if I’ll be able to get into grad school. If anything, Penn’s decision makes life harder for students.” Amanda’s claim rings true as a recent survey found that 100% of students were not doing full work “required” for their classes because they were assuming Penn would announce mandatory pass/fail. 

With many students now at the risk of tanking their GPA, we turned to the engineering school to help us determine how Penn students will be able to survive the semester without mandatory pass/fail. After many calculations filled with numbers, variables, and squiggly lines, Junior Tyrell Harris (E ‘21) confidently declared the only possible solution saying, “curve?”