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ABC Pass/Fail Grading

***Applicable to Spring 2020 Academic Term***

Eastern Kentucky University
Guidelines for Temporary Adoption of ABC/P/F Grading


Following the 2020 EKU Spring Break, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic disrupted the world prompting on-campus courses to shift to online instruction for the second half of the spring 2020 semester. Since that time, questions have been asked about the possibility of EKU adopting a Pass/Fail (P/F) grading system for the term. Given the implications of P/F grading for certification, licensure, graduate and professional school applications, success in subsequent courses, as well as encouraging students to maintain engagement in their academic coursework, EKU decided to maintain the traditional use of letter grades and encouraged instructors to be compassionate and flexible in working with students. Recognizing that students have faced hardships because of the pandemic, EKU will make additional allowances to minimize the impact of the normal grading scale on Acdemic Standing through the temporary adoption of an ABC/P/F grading scale.

Process & Procedure

Faculty will use the traditional ABCDF scale to report grades for the Spring 2020 term. Any assigned grade of D will be updated by the Registrar’s Office and changed to a grade of P. As P grades do not count toward the GPA, no student will have their Academic Standing affected by a D grade. There is no change for F grades as they are unaffected under the P/F or normal grade scale. Courses requiring a prerequisite course grade of B or C will be unaffected by this change. In future terms, Departments, at their discretion, may determine whether P grades awarded during Spring 2020 meet prerequisite or program retention conditions, provided they do so for all students in the affected course(s).

Grade Appeals

Students who have suffered extraordinary hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and who have received a grade of C in a Spring 2020 course may appeal to have their grade changed to a P using the normal grade appeal process. Students who wish to explore this option should contact the Chair of their program of study. The grade appeal process shall be administered according to the usual procedures outlined in the Undergraduate Catalog, with grounds for grade appeal modified to include COVID-19 related hardship. Grounds for seeking to replace a C with a P grade may include any of the following, provided such hardship is related to COVID- 19:

  • Personal Illness

  • Household Member Illness

  • Essential employee working long hours (medical professionals, for example)

  • Unusually Challenging Childcare or Dependent Care Obligations

  • Significant Internet or Technology Challenges

  • Other Extreme Hardship

Guidelines for Temporary Adoption of ABC/P/F Grading 2

Student Considerations

*Students are strongly encouraged to review the considerations below and communicate with their academic / athletic advisors prior to appealing a C grade:

  • Grade Point Average: A “Pass” (P) grade does not affect a student’s grade point average, but a failing (F) grade is averaged into the student’s grade point average.

  • Program Retention Requirements: Some academic programs have limitations on the number of low grades for retention in the program. Students who consider appealing a C grade to a P should check with their academic advisor as to whether P grades would be accepted in meeting program retention requirements.

  • Transcripts: It is unknown whether any particular professional or graduate school across the nation will accept P grades for courses. Students should strongly consider how this might affect transcripts for professional and graduate school applications.

  • Transferability of Credits to Other Institutions: Like transcripts, it is largely unknown how these courses may transfer into another university if a P grade is issued.

  • Student Athletes: A Pass/Fail grade may affect an athlete’s eligibility or funding. Athletes are strongly encouraged to communicate with their athletic advisor in the EKU Bratzke center.

  • Financial Support: Students receiving financial support must consider funding guidelines and how a P grade may adversely affect funding eligibility.

    Students in pre-professional programs (pre-Nursing, pre-law, pre-med, etc.,) or those who wish to apply to graduate or professional schools should use caution in determining whether to request P grades as this decision may adversely affect entry into high demand programs. Students in these programs are strongly encouraged to contact their academic advisors before selected the P/F option for any course.


    If you have questions about these guidelines, please contact the Office of the Provost.

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