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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    GRO can’t save GPA

    Students planning to retake a course they earned a low grade in to boost their grade point average should consider the pros and cons of the grade replacement opportunity, advisers said.

    Retaking a course as a GRO often hurts students more than it helps them, said Verlaine Walker, a pre-law adviser.

    “”Usually students don’t do well in a class because they didn’t like it, or it wasn’t their strength,”” Walker said. “”So now they are going back, putting a lot of effort into trying to get a better grade, and it’s taking away time from other classes where they could be getting ‘A’s.'””

    Although the UA is one of the few universities to offer students a chance to replace a low grade by retaking a course, the grade remains on students’ transcripts and will be considered by graduate, medical and law schools.

    I’m a little nervous about this semester with a demanding job and lots of classes, and it’s nice to be able to have the option to GRO just in case.

    “”Your old grade stays on your transcript – it does not get erased – and a lot of students don’t know that,”” Walker said.

    Walker said even if a student gets an “”A”” in a class he previously failed, the grade averages out to a “”C,”” which doesn’t cause a significant boost in his GPA.

    Pre-health adviser Nancy Stiller said she thinks that there are both pros and cons to using a GRO to retake a course.

    Medical school admissions view a GRO only as a repeat course and not as a replacement grade, Stiller said.

    “”The issue, specifically for medical students, is ‘do I retake the course?'”” Stiller said. “”Because medical school admissions looks at everything, I generally advise students to repeat or GRO a ‘D’ or an ‘E,’ but it is generally not a good idea to GRO a ‘C.'””

    Since graduate schools look at cumulative GPAs in addition to test scores, a bad GPA is not an automatic disqualifying factor, said Bernita Stark, administrative assistant of the admissions office at the Phoenix School of Law.

    Other admissions factors include an applicant’s personal statement, resume and a chance for students with a low GPA to explain it, said Stark.

    “”We have had applicants be as honest as, ‘I farted away my first two years of school and partied too much,’ and at least they are honest about it,”” Stark said.

    Yael Farah, a pre-business sophomore, said that although she has never used a GRO herself, she is glad the option to GRO is available to students.

    “”I’m a little nervous about this semester with a demanding job and lots of classes, and it’s nice to be able to have the option to GRO just in case,”” Farah said. “”(But) it sucks that your previous grade doesn’t go away from your transcripts.””

    Still, Walker said she recommends that students skip the GRO and spend their time getting better grades in other classes, as well as studying for entrance exams.

    Students should only GRO if they are on scholarship and need to maintain a certain GPA, Walker said.

    Students should also know that if a class is no longer listed, a similar course cannot be taken as a GRO, said Celeste Pardee, a curriculum associate.

    A new policy states that neither the office of the registrar nor the department can be held responsible for any circumstance – such as a change in course offerings, course cancellation, unit change or time change – that would trump the ability to use a GRO.

    Last fall, 955 students filed for a GRO within the first two weeks of classes and about the same are expected this fall, said Diana Anglin, office of the registrar supervisor.

    The filing deadline for a GRO is Sept. 15. Students can retake up to 10 credit hours for a GRO.

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