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New Plus / Minus Grading at Georgia State University

For years (perhaps decades), professors at Georgia State University have requested the ability to give more meaningful grades than simply A B C D or F. According to this announcement, they have gotten their wish. Overall I think this may have a positive outcome in shaping the competitive nature of grades. Unfortunately, it appears students are getting the shaft by not having an A+ in the grade scale. An A will be a 4.0, an A- a 3.7. In all other ranges, there is a + to offset the -, but not in the A. What gives?
The other question I have is how will this affect recipients of the Hope Scholarship? I have long argued that the Hope scholarship has led to grade inflation at the high school and collegiate levels in Georgia. As I understand the requirements, a student must maintain a B average. My gut reaction is that there will be no impact. Professors will be afraid of giving a student a B- because that may be the one class that disqualifies the student from the scholarship. My hunch is that they want to differentiate between the solid A and the just skirting by A. Thus, there is no A+ to allow a student to offset his A-.
This new policy will go into effect starting the Fall Semester of 2006. If my life stays on its current path, I will earn my MBA in Finance on August 5 and will thus not gain first hand experience with the new system. To everyone who is left – good luck! If it’s anything like the curriculum change in the MBA program, you’re going to need it!

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