FAQs for Current Students Regarding Pass/Fail (PS/FL)

SPRING 2020 COVID-19 FAQS FOR CURRENT STUDENTS REGARDING COURSE GRADES Pass/Fail (PS/FL)

Please read ALL FAQs carefully. If you have a question that is not addressed here, please email emass@morgan.edu. Allow 3 business days for a response.

Will Pass/Fail (PS/FL) grades be optional, or will all classes be graded using Pass/Fail (PS/FL) this semester?

All undergraduate and graduate students have the option to change your grading basis to Pass/Fail (PS/FL). Each student must determine whether they wish to receive Pass/Fail (PS/FL) or the standard letter grades for each class in which they are enrolled. Pass/Fail (PS/FL) grades will not count in your GPA. You will receive course credit for Pass (PS) grades; you will not receive course credit for Fail (FL) grades. We advise that students continue with the current letter grading mode until they have had time to assess their comfort with the new online course delivery. The deadline to switch to Pass/Fail (PS/FL) is 5 PM on April 30, 2020. For students who request to switch to Pass/Fail (PS/FL), the final grade roster where the instructor enters grades will reflect PS/FL as the options. For students who do not request to switch to Pass/Fail (PS/FL), the final grade roster will reflect the standard letter grade options.

What is the difference between the F and FL grade?

While both are failing grades, the FL does not impact students' grade point average (GPA) either positively or negatively, while F does impact GPA negatively (0 quality points). If a student elects to be graded Pass/Fail (PS/FL) for this semester, and they earn a failing grade, they would receive the FL grade. If a student receives a letter grade, and they earn a failing grade, they would receive the F grade.

Will Pass/Fail (PS/FL) grades count in my GPA and will I receive course credit for them?

Pass/Fail (PS/FL) grades will not count in your GPA. You will receive course credit for Pass (PS) grades; you will not receive course credit for Fail (FL) grades.

Are all classes eligible for Pass/Fail (PS/FL)?

Yes, it is expected that all classes will be eligible for Pass/Fail (PS/FL). This includes all undergraduate and graduate courses, including classes that were already fully online before the COVID-19 crisis, and classes that are currently set up as P/F courses. If there are specific reasons related to specialized accreditation or licensure requirements in specific programs that a particular class will not be eligible for Pass/Fail (PS/FL), the Dean of the appropriate School/College will ensure that students are notified in writing that the class cannot be taken Pass/Fail (PS/FL) prior to the deadline to withdraw from classes.

How do I request to use Pass/Fail (PS/FL) as opposed to a letter grade?

Students must complete a simple Request for Pass/Fail (PS/FL) form that will be housed on the Office of the Registrar's webpage. The link to the form will be available beginning the week of April 6, 2020. The deadline to switch to Pass/Fail (PS/FL) is 5 PM on April 30, 2020. Extensions will not be granted.

Should I choose to move to Pass/Fail (PS/FL), or continue with the standard letter grade mode?

This is an individual decision each student must make for each of their classes. Your advisor or Retention Counselor may be able to assist you in thinking through the decision, but you must make the decision for yourself. We advise you to continue with your current grading basis until you have had time to assess your comfort with the new online course delivery. This may take a few weeks.

What are some of the things I should think about before deciding whether to move to Pass/Fail (PS/FL)?

There are many things to consider as you make your decision. Things to consider include, but are not necessarily limited to the following:

    • Weigh your options carefully based on where you are in the course. Review your midterm grade for each course and see if there have been any changes to the syllabus/course requirements which may impact your decision to change your grading method to Pass/Fail (PS/FL).
    • If you have a GPA requirement you need to meet, it may not be in your best interest to change some or all of your courses to Pass/Fail (PS/FL). If you need to raise your GPA for any reason, such as Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), athletic eligibility, scholarship requirements, to meet the cumulative GPA required to graduate (2.0 for undergraduate students, 3.0 for graduate students), etc., it may not be in your best interest to take a Pass/Fail (PS/FL) for some or all of your courses. You are strongly encouraged to consult your academic advisor and/or financial aid counselor prior to changing any courses to Pass/Fail (PS/FL). 
    • If you are applying to graduate or professional school or if letter grades are needed for certification or licensure, it may not be in your best interest to take a Pass/Fail (PS/FL) for some or all of your courses. If you are unsure whether this may be an issue in your program, please consult your academic advisor or chairperson prior to opting for Pass/Fail (PS/FL). 
    • Be aware that a Pass/Fail (PS/FL) grade will not automatically qualify you as having met a prerequisite for a future course. This means you will likely need an override to register for some courses in future semesters.
    • Please remember that you must have a minimum of 12 credits of letter grades to be considered eligible for the Dean's list. Pass/Fail (PS/FL) grades will not count towards the 12 credit eligibility for these honors.
    • We have not received guidance from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on how they plan to treat Pass/Fail (PS/FL) grades with regard to benefits. If you are receiving veteran's benefits and have questions, you may contact Veterans Engagement Services at veterans@morgan.edu.

What is the grading scale for Pass/Fail (PS/FL)?

Please consult your instructor for more information regarding their grading scale. Generally speaking, if you opt to receive Pass/Fail (PS/FL) grades, a grade of Pass should be assigned by the course instructor when the work is judged to be of low "C" quality or better.

Is it possible that some students in a class will receive Pass/Fail (PS/FL) grades while others receive letter grades?

Yes. Each student will decide which classes, if any, they wish to receive Pass/Fail (PS/FL) grades for. It is likely that some students in a class will elect to receive Pass/Fail (PS/FL) while others will elect to receive letter grades. When an instructor goes to the final grade roster in Websis, the final grade options for each individual student will either be standard letter grades, or PS/FL, if the student requested PS/FL through the official Request for Pass/Fail (PS/FL) form.

Can a student change their mind about opting for Pass/Fail (PS/FL)?

Students have until 5 PM on April 30, 2020, to inform the University that they want to use the PS/FL option. Once a student has completed the online Request for Pass/Fail (PS/FL) Form requesting to receive a PS/FL grade for a course, it is irreversible. If the student does not elect Pass/Fail (PS/FL) by this date, they will receive standard letter grades.

New Student FAQs added 3/30/2020

Repeating a Course - What happens if I am repeating a course?

The University policy indicates that the most recent grade earned is the grade that counts. In short, the grade from this semester will replace any grade in the same course from a previous semester. This includes standard grades (A, B, C, D, F) or Pass/Fail (PS/FL). So, let's say you failed a class last semester, repeated the class this semester, and opted for a Pass/Fail (PS/FL) grade. The F would still show on your transcript, but would no longer be calculated in your GPA. The PS or FL from this semester would show on your transcript as well but would have no impact on your GPA because PS/FL grades do not impact your GPA positively or negatively.

For reference, the university repeat policy is as follows:

Repeating Courses For Credit

Students should repeat only courses in which a grade of "D" or "F" has been earned. When students repeat courses, each grade will be recorded on the transcript and the computed cumulative grade point average will be based on the grade earned most recently (even if it is lower than the previous grade earned). There may be significant financial aid implications of repeating courses that have been previously passed. Students should consult the Financial Aid section of the catalog for more information.

Course Attendance - Do I have to continue attending class if I select Pass/Fail (PS/FL)?

Yes, you must continue to attend class and complete assignments even if you select the Pass/Fail (PS/FL) option.

Degree Works - If I select Pass/Fail (PS/FL), will my course credits show up in Degree Works?

Pass/Fail (PS/FL) grades will show up in the degree audit for undergraduate students. Pass (PS) will show that a requirement is satisfied once the grade is posted. Fail (FL) will show up under insufficient at the bottom of the audit.

Financial Aid Impact - How will taking the Pass/Fail (PS/FL) grading option impact my financial aid?

Your GPA will not be impacted by the Pass/Fail option. However, if you opt for Pass/Fail (PS/FL) and receive an FL grade, it could negatively affect your "satisfactory academic progress" for financial aid purposes. The Pass/Fail option will impact students who need to improve their cumulative GPA because Pass/Fail (PS/FL) grades will not count in your GPA. The Pass/Fail option will impact your passing rate which is required to be 67% or higher to receive federal financial aid.

How changing to the Pass/Fail option will impact a student will vary based on the situation of the individual student. As such, students are strongly encouraged to consult their academic advisor and/or financial aid counselor prior to changing any courses to Pass/Fail (PS/FL). Your financial aid advisor can help you with determining how your financial aid and Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) might be impacted.

Billing Impact - I am on a payment plan and have a payment coming up. Am I supposed to pay for it even though I'm opting for the pass/fail option for all my classes?

Yes, you are still taking classes for credit, so you must still pay your tuition bill.

Switching to Pass/Fail - I don't want to switch to Pass/Fail (PS/FL). What do I need to do?

Pass/Fail (PS/FL) is optional; this means you do not have to change to Pass/Fail (PS/FL) grading. If you decide to take the Pass/Fail (PS/FL) option, you will need to complete the form on the Registrar's website; it will be made available April 6 - 30th. If you want to keep the current grading mode of A, B, C, D, or F, there is no further action you need to take.

Switching to Pass/Fail - How do I go about switching to Pass/Fail (PS/FL)?

The Office of the Registrar will create a simple form that you will need to complete for each course that you wish to be graded Pass/Fail (PS/FL). The form will be available on the Registrar's Office website by Monday, April 6. The deadline to complete the form to request Pass/Fail (PS/FL) grading is 5:00 pm, April 30, 2020. Please weigh your options carefully. Your chairperson, academic advisor or Retention Counselor may be able to assist you in thinking through the decision, but you must make the decision for yourself. Once you have submitted a request for Pass/Fail (PS/FL), it cannot be reversed.

Pros/Cons of switching to Pass/Fail (PS/FL) - I'm not sure if I should switch to pass/fail. Could you provide some examples of situations in which it would be beneficial for a student to switch to Pass/Fail (PS/FL)?

The advantages or disadvantages of switching to Pass/Fail (PS/FL) will vary by student. Only you are in the unique position of knowing how you are being impacted by this which is why the decision to take this option is not one which should be taken lightly. Below is some general guidance that may be useful in a few specific situations, but we must strongly emphasize that each student should read ALL FAQs carefully and discuss the matter with their instructor, academic advisor, and financial aid counselor as needed. It is ultimately up to the student to make an informed decision based on their specific situation.

Situation*** Yes-you may want to consider switching to Pass/Fail (PS/FL) No-you may want to consider keeping the standard letter grade system
My cumulative GPA is below 2.0 I am doing well in my classes and believe that I can raise my GPA this semester. If you need to raise your GPA for any reason (such as Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP), athletic eligibility, scholarship requirements, or to meet the cumulative GPA required to graduate, it may not be in your best interest to take a Pass/Fail (PS/FL) for some or all of your courses.)
I plan to apply for graduate or professional school or am in a program where certification or licensure is required. Because the University cannot guarantee that other institutions or licensing bodies will accept Pass/Fail grades (PS/FL), it may not be in your best interest to take a Pass/Fail (PS/FL) for some or all of your courses.)
I am trying to make the Dean's List. You must have a minimum of 12 credits of letter grades to be considered eligible for the Dean's list. Pass/Fail (PS/FL) grades will not count towards the 12 credit eligibility for these honors.
I receive VA benefits. We have not received guidance from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on how they plan to treat Pass/Fail (PS/FL) grades with regard to benefits. If you are receiving veteran's benefits and have questions, you may contact Veterans Engagement Services at veterans@morgan.edu.
I am worried that I might not do as well as I would like to in my classes this semester due to the covid-19 situation. You may want to consider switching to Pass/Fail (PS/FL) for classes that you are concerned about. Pass/Fail (PS/FL) grades will not impact your GPA either positively or negatively.

***These are just a few sample scenarios. It is the responsibility of each student to make an informed decision based on their specific situation. Please read ALL FAQs carefully and discuss the matter with your instructor, academic advisor, and financial aid counselor as needed.

New Student FAQs added 4/2/2020

Do I have to select one grading option for all classes or can I choose Pass/Fail (PS/FL) for some classes and not others?

You can choose Pass/Fail for some classes and not others.

How do I request to use Pass/Fail (PS/FL) as opposed to a letter grade?

Students must complete a simple Request for Pass/Fail (PS/FL) form that will be housed on the Office of the Registrar's webpage. The link to the form will be available beginning the week of April 6, 2020. The deadline to switch to Pass/Fail (PS/FL) is 5 PM on April 30, 2020.

If I opt for pass/fail, is it a possibility that I could turn a fail to a pass by the end of the semester or is it based off what my grade is at that point in the class?

The grade for your class, whether you opt for letter grades or for Pass/Fail (PS/FL) grades, will be based on the instructor's assessment of your performance for the totality of the course, as usual.