covid gpas

Since the beginning of the pandemic, students have found a lack of motivation in themselves and in their professors, which has led to unpredictable grades and frustration with an unwavering tuition.

In a survey conducted by OneClass, 85% of the respondents said that the pandemic had a negative effect on their grades. Surveyed students attributed their decreasing grades to mental health and online learning.

Many students have said online schooling has proven to be an intense adjustment.

“Being online and not being able to be in a classroom setting is really depressing, and I think that definitely takes a toll on every student, and that makes students less motivated,” said Grace Thibodeaux, a freshman secondary education major at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Skylar Thames, a senior online student at UL Lafayette, said some professors seem more lenient in certain aspects after the pandemic.

“Last semester, I had a lot of professors reopen quizzes for our class because a lot of students did not take it. Because I did mine, I got out of a lot of assignments. I’m also online, so I think that is more lenient as well,” Thames said.

Thames’s GPA has risen from 2.5 to 2.8 since the pandemic.

Thibodeaux attributes a lack of motivation in her learning to her professors.

“I’ve seen my math professor twice. She just assigns us something to read, watch, and a homework assignment. So, I am teaching myself. I didn’t know I went to DeVry University,” Thibodeaux said.

Thames believes that upholding her grades has become progressively more difficult since the pandemic initially started. According to a study conducted by Ithaka S+R, spring 2020 GPAs were higher than projected. This could be a result of an increase in the utilization of pass/fail options in universities. The pass/fail option is typically accessed by students that feel that their success in a certain class may be reflected by this opportunity rather than a numerical grading system.

Because of the increase in student autonomy and diminished reliance on faculty-enhanced learning, certain students believe that tuition should be decreased.

“The tuition should be lower. I’ve noticed with so many professors — and, it doesn’t apply to all — but with the majority, because their classes are remote, they stopped caring too,” Thibodeaux said. “It’s like we are paying teachers to slack off.”

According to OneClass, success in mathematical subjects decreased about five to 10 percentage points between fall 2019 and fall 2020. The same study concluded that in grades three through eight, reading performances remained stable.

“I feel like math professors are so much more strict. They are so demanding, and for what?” Thibodeaux said.

In regards to whether or not she felt that she was absorbing different course materials, she responded, “Definitely not with math. The only reason that I even know what’s going on is because I already learned it in high school.”

“I am breezing by until I get a degree,” Thames said. “I don’t remember any statistics. I don’t remember economics. I don’t remember any math.”

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