Why can’t we earn an A+?

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Since when can students not earn an A+? Apparently since fall of 2011—that is when.

Since kindergarten, children have all hoped for that red A+ on the top right corner of their papers, spelling tests, and math problems.

I regret to inform you fellow students, that red A+ is no longer possible.

Since the fall of 2011, East Stroudsburg University has adopted the plus-minus system in the classroom.

Previously, ESU operated on a 10-point grading scale. The 10-point grading scale is the following:

90 – 100:  A
80 – 89: B
70 – 79: C
60 – 69:  D
0 – 59:  F

The newly adopted plus minus system is the following:

A 4.000 quality points
A- 3.667 quality points
B+ 3.333 quality points
B 3.000 quality points
B- 2.667 quality points
C+ 2.333 quality points
C 2.000 quality points
C- 1.667 quality points
D 1.000 quality points
E 0 quality points

According to the East Stroudsburg University’s website, “The letter grades currently in use at East Stroudsburg University are: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D, E, I, L, P, S, U, W, X, Y, and Z.”

I mean, that is only 11 letters away from being able to earn every letter in the alphabet. As students, we can get a Z but we cannot get an A+?

A senior Communication Studies major, Karianna Simpkins says, “I don’t think it is fair because it could effect me getting a 4.0 GPA. They award an A- which could negatively effect your GPA but not an A+.”

Another issue we have here is that all classrooms do not abide by this plus-minus system.

Some professors have stuck with the 10-point grading scale and some have jumped on the plus-minus bandwagon.

As an entire institution, shouldn’t we all be on the same page?

ESU Senior, Jessica Thompson says, “I don’t mind the plus-minus system. However, I feel if they are going to use it, they should use the entire thing, not just parts of it. If we can earn a B+ we should be able to earn an A+.”

To graduate with honors, the minimum cumulative quality point average is a 3.400.

However, if you wish to see your name on the Dean’s List you need a 3.5. How is that even fair?

Those who worked extra hard to get on the Dean’s List get robbed of their fame when those who did not make Dean’s List graduate with the same honor.

So, to answer the question: Why can’t we earn an A+? I would have to pass the torch to the administration.

Email Jessica at: