Journalism students research grade inflation at Illinois

Journalism students

This spring, students in JOUR 500 and JOUR 490 researched and wrote an in-depth report on grade inflation at the University of Illinois, analyzing 13 years of grading data. The work by journalism graduate students Ramiro Ferrando, Pramod Acharya, and Logan Hanson, and journalism senior Chantal Vaca (pictured above), with copy-editing assistance from journalism senior Emily Ward, is featured at Their report explores:

  • How economic incentives and new technology are reshaping education
  • The relationship between a decrease in state funding and an increase in larger classes and online courses
  • The quality of larger and online courses
  • The weight of a GPA in the job market

Their work documents "how a soaring number of big and online classes, incentivized amid state budget cuts and rising tuition, has led to dramatic increases in the number of 'A' grades, opportunities for cheating and unauthorized collaboration, and emphasis on 'easy' classes," said Eric Meyer, associate professor of journalism, who taught the journalism courses.

The News-Gazette published several of their articles on Sunday, May 26: