Students Studying in HUB

Students study in the HUB-Robeson Center on Monday, Oct. 12, 2020.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact Penn State’s campus, the university decided to implement the optional alternative grading system once more for students who have experienced hardships that have disrupted their academic goals.

Students may now choose any number of classes to “pass” if they received a passing grade or “fail” if they received an “F.”

The alternative grades will not affect a student’s grade point average.

Alternative grades include “SAT,” “V” and “Z.” “SAT” stands for “satisfactory,” meaning a student has earned a “C” or higher in a class.

“V” stands for “pass” if a student received a “D” in a class. This cannot be used to meet “C” or higher requirements for a class.

A “Z” grade will not count for earned credit because it replaces a traditional “F” grade, just as if a student late-drops a class.

If students have any academic integrity violations, their alternative grades may take longer than others to be processed.

Concealing certain performances with an SAT grade, the university said, may be interpreted negatively by outside entities such as graduate schools and employers, some of which are likely to recalculate GPAs, making their own assumptions about what is behind an SAT grade.

Students were strongly encouraged to consult with their academic advisers prior to making decisions about alternative grades. All academic advisers will not be available while the university is closed from Dec. 24 to Jan. 4 for winter break.

Alternative grades will be available for selection in LionPath for all undergraduate students (including World Campus) starting Dec. 23, and must be selected by the deadline of midnight on Jan. 12, 2021.

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