Most school districts in North Carolina currently use a seven-point grading scale, where scores of 93 to 100 are an A and scores below 70 are considered failing. On the new scale, scores of 90 to 100 are an A, while scores below 60 are failing.
UNC freshman Nikki Defreitas said she wishes the 10-point scale had been implemented when she was in high school.
“All of the B’s I ever got in high school were high B’s, so if this rule had applied when I was in high school I would have had straight A’s,” she said. “It always seemed unfair to me that high schools had a seven-point scale while colleges have a 10-point scale.”
UNC admissions will not be affected, said Ashley Memory, senior assistant director of admissions.
“We have reviewed academic performances from high schools around the world and, in doing so, have become accustomed to evaluating transcripts using a variety of grading scales,” she said in an email.
According to a letter sent to superintendents statewide by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Heath Morrison, a student from Atlanta with four grades of 91 would have an A average in Georgia, but under North Carolina’s former scale would drop to a B average if he or she moved to the state.
Morrison said in the letter that the change could confer many benefits.
“A 10-point grading scale could lead to more students receiving A’s and B’s and becoming honor roll students, improve graduation rates and lower the drop-out rate,” he said. “Students may be more motivated to enroll in Advanced Placement or dual-enrollment classes.”
State Board of Education member John Tate told the Charlotte Observer that he plans to ensure the change won’t cause grade inflation by reviewing grade distributions statewide after the new scale is implemented.
Jeffrey Nash, spokesman for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, said in an email he predicts a smooth transition to the new scale.
“The change in the point scale means our students will now be compared more fairly with those in other states.”