Barnard’s Dean’s List will become a bit more exclusive starting this fall.
Registrar Constance Brown announced Friday that the distinction will now be awarded on a semester basis to students who earn a grade point average of 3.6 or higher. Previously, students had to earn a 3.4 for the entire academic year to earn the distinction.
Brown said that the new policy, which now matches that of Columbia College, “will for the first time enable January transfers, February graduates, and students who go on study leave for one semester to be on Dean’s List.”
In November 2010, Barnard’s Committee on Honors proposed changing the requirements for Dean’s List, but no changes were made until now. Administrators were unavailable to comment this weekend on why the changes didn’t go into place until now.
Students had varying opinions on the new requirements.
Mary Glenn, BC ’13, said she thought some students found their extracurriculars to be more important than their GPAs. Still, she wondered how many students were involved in the decision, noting that the abrupt announcement would come as a surprise to those affected.
“Personally, it doesn’t affect me,” she said. “For people who are between the range and all of the sudden they’re out, they may be a little hurt.”
“I think it will be beneficial for people who take a semester off or study abroad,” Ashiana Jivraj, BC ’15, said.
Jivraj added that she was glad the new requirements would allow these students to be recognized for their academic achievements each semester.
Giselle Appel, BC ’15, added that she thought a 3.5 may have been a more balanced cutoff to motivate students while maintaining academic priorities.
“I think it could motivate students, but I also think it could put a lot more pressure on students,” Appel said. “I get where the administration is coming from—I like holding the students to higher standards, but people stress out here enough.”