Financial aid and particular scholarships have requirements that are necessitated by Federal laws and guidelines in addition to ones from the State of Georgia and UGA.  A particular grade in a chemistry course is not a criterion for financial aid or scholarships.  Grades in courses taken during a semester or over an academic year are used in definitions of “satisfactory academic progress” and criteria for HOPE.  Thus, it is a record of activity and performance that is used.  Language from the website of the Office of Financial Aid states that…

"…HOPE Scholarship students will be checked to see if they are maintaining a minimum 3.0 HOPE GPA at the end of the semesters in which they have attempted their 30th, 60th, 90th hours and at the end of every spring semester."

Chemistry instructors don’t “make students lose their HOPE scholarships”.  We assign grades objectively, following a grading scheme that is available in the syllabus each semester.  The average grades in our courses are just at or above a B- (i.e., 2.7/4.0).  Chemistry programs at UGA and comparable institutions do not subscribe to grade inflation.  Students who come from secondary schools where every student is awarded an A or B in every course may be shocked to find a different system in place.  Parents and guardians need to be aware of these policies also and to find ways to help support their student.  Lobbying instructors for better grades or to change a grading scheme is not a productive use of anyone’s time.

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