College Math Teaching

December 4, 2014

But I need a B to keep my financial aid…

Filed under: academia, editorial — Tags: — collegemathteaching @ 10:55 am

It is that time of year again; this morning I get the following e-mail message from a “graduate” student:

actually i am maintaining a scholarship of 20% from the beginning of my graduation. I need to get a minimum of B grade in your course in order to keep up my scholarship and not to go to probation which affects my academic career. So could you please reconsider the grades which you have allotted and make some liberal grading which will be highly helpful to me.

Note: this student’s attendance has been, at best, spotty and his performance has been dreadful; it would be difficult to infer from his work that he was ever in class.

I’ve decided to respond in the following fashion: “your grade is strictly determined by academic performance; using any other criteria constitutes academic fraud.”

Imagine this: “hi, I am doctor X and I’ll be treating you. Oh, I did miserably on my medical school examinations but I told the professor that I needed these classes to graduate so…here I am!”

Or: “hi, I am your pilot. I did almost nothing right during my final examinations/check-outs but I convinced them to pass me anyway because I really wanted to be a pilot. Enjoy your flight!”

I know: students begging for grades that they didn’t earn is nothing new.

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