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One in 12 Columbia undergraduates earned at least a 4.0 last semester

Students and professors were split over Columbia’s grading policies on Thursday, following the leak of a document that showed that about one in 12 Columbia undergraduates earned at least a 4.0 last semester.

The spreadsheet listed 482 students in Columbia College and the School of Engineering and Applied Science who earned perfect grade point averages. Whether the numbers reflect grade inflation, the criticism often aimed at universities giving higher grades than in years past, remains unclear.

Stuart Rojstaczer, a retired Duke professor who has written widely on grade inflation, said that since the data only includes students with a 4.0 or higher, the numbers were difficult to compare specifically to other schools.

“As for being comparable to other selective, private institutions that have seen their grades go up since the mid-1980s … their [Columbia’s] grades are very comparable,” he said, adding that engineering-based schools like MIT generally have lower average GPAs than liberal arts-focused schools.

Read the full story at the Columbia Spectator.

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