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Freshman forgiveness now undergrad amnesty

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Photo Illustration by Samantha Hollingshead / Photo Editor

Photo Illustration by Samantha Hollingshead / Photo Editor

Ohio State students are set for second chances under the university’s new Grade Forgiveness Rule that went into effect Aug. 25.

The new rule, approved by the Board of Trustees in June, was created to replace the Freshman Forgiveness Rule, which allowed students to repeat a course in which they received a D or an E in their freshman year, or before they reach 30 credit hours.

The revision allows students at any undergraduate level to retake a course with the consent of their adviser, regardless of the student’s year or grade.

“The idea is to give you a little more flexibility … and not presume that the only time you have some challenges or transitional issues is when you’re a freshman,” said Brad Myers, executive director of the University Registrar. “That’s a key difference.”

Myers said the grade-forgiveness rule can be used three times, but that students who have already used their eligibility under the old rule will not be able to use the new rule.

Some students are excited about the new rule.

“I like it, personally,” said Katie Kepley, a fifth-year in economics. She said that while she probably won’t be using it, it sounds helpful for upperclassmen who are considering graduate school.

Others are concerned that there might be consequences.

“I feel like it might be a bad thing,” said Gabriella Pecci, a senior at Big Walnut High School who takes classes at OSU. “It would give kids an opportunity to feel like they don’t have to work as hard the first time around.”

Myers also acknowledged that the rule might not be perfect.

“Let’s say somebody gets a B in a class and it’s somebody who’s used to always getting an A,” he said, adding that a discussion of the specific circumstances would determine whether the grade replacement would be an effective use of time and student money. “Is that (a) good use of resources? Does it potentially close someone else out of a class that they need access to when you got a really good grade?”

Myers said these questions would be things to consider when discussing the grade forgiveness option with an academic adviser.

This new rule will not affect the repeatability rule, which allows students to repeat a course and average the two grades.
“The functional changes are predominantly that you have the flexibility to be able to use it longer into your career, so there’s not a perception that the only time you may run into an academic snag is in the transition of your freshman year because that’s not always true,” Myers said.

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