GPA requirement change does more good than harm

Katie Wilborn/The News

The staff editorial is the majority opinion of The Murray State News Editorial Board.

Katie Wilborn/The News

Katie Wilborn/The News

Seniors graduating this December are in the final stretch, but there are proving to be a couple bumps in the road along the way.

While the University has attempted to be transparent about these changes, students seem to be taken off guard and frustrated with the decision to raise the Cum laude GPA requirement from 3.3 to 3.4.

For some, frustration is an understatement.

The frustration stems from those who have been under the understanding that the requirement for graduating with Cum laude honors was 3.3 for so long that raising it to a 3.4 by fall 2015 seems unreasonable.

Undergraduate bulletins from recent years, starting with the 2013-14 one, include the following note in reference to Cum laude requirements – still 3.3 at that time – in their “Graduation Requirements” section:

“NOTE: The Grade Point Average required to achieve Cum laude will increase to 3.4 effective fall 2015.”

That note is not included in the 2012-13 bulletin which many seniors started Murray State with.

All undergraduate bulletins do, however, include this disclaimer:

“The contents of this publication are subject to change … Murray State University reserves the right to modify or change any rule, regulation, fee or policy statement stated herein.”

This clearly includes the Cum laude requirements.

We understand and relate to the frustration. Last minute changes are, often, hard to manage.

Look at it from the University’s point of view, though.

Murray State is all about “fostering an exciting and challenging learning environment,” according to their website.

It’s hard to do so by adhering to stagnant, relatively low GPA restrictions, especially when deciding whether or not a student graduates Cum laude – “with distinction.”

Even with the change to 3.4, that GPA requirement is still lower than that of the Dean’s List – 3.5.

Also, it’s not like they’re doing this in a tyrannical fashion without any consideration of students’ efforts and feelings.

Along with raising this requirement, they’re decreasing the number of hours and upper level hours a student has to take in residence at Murray State.

This decision was made and approved in 2013 with delayed implementation. Two years is plenty of time to raise your GPA by one point if need be.

One point is just a little push in the right direction. It could be attained if you really, truly want it and work for it – even in a short time span.

The University is merely attempting to raise the quality of education while encouraging overall student achievement, determination and success.

They’re also raising the admission requirements, according the seven-year Strategic Initiatives plan.

If they’re going to set higher standards for incoming freshman, it makes sense to raise requirements for outgoing seniors.

Enter with academic pride, leave with academic pride.

If you’re one, two or five points away from graduating with Cum laude, you’re still graduating with a degree and a bright future, thanks to Murray State. That’s something to be proud of no matter what.

Expect more of yourself and don’t be mad when others do as well.