SUNY Oneonta Introduces Pass/Fail for Spring 2020

Daniella Fishman, Staffwriter |

On March 31, SUNY Oneonta announced that it is allowing students to opt for a Pass/Fail grading system for their Spring 2020 classes due to the transition to distance learning, per the recent COVID-19 developments in New York state and across the country.

As students continue to struggle to adapt to new remote learning standards, SUNY Oneonta has understood the added stress placed on students and, in its email to the student body, the administration stated “[t]he college is adjusting some academic practices this semester to give you extra support as you transition to remote teaching and learning.”

Along with allowing students to opt for Pass/Fail grading, the school moved up the deadline for course withdrawal to April 28. In their March 31 email, the Office of the Provost stated that students who have incomplete grades will be able to complete courses until June 30, giving leverage to students unable to finish their courses this semester.

 With the option of a Pass/Fail grading system, students can now better balance their work with a clear mind and less stress. Many have already expressed anxiety due to uncomfortable remote learning and slipping grades, so this news has been very well received by Oneonta’s students.

For students interested in choosing the Pass/Fail option for their Spring 2020 classes, it is important to know that financial aid might be affected as a result. On SUNY Oneonta’s website, the school stated that while Pass/Fail will not affect your current financial aid, it could hinder your ability to get it next semester. When applying for the option, Academic Advisement will review your application and financial aid and then contact you should Pass/Fail conflict with it.

For those interested in applying to graduate school/further education after undergraduate, it is crucial for you to figure out whether taking the Pass/Fail option could affect your application. Some programs do not accept Pass/Fail as an acceptable grade, and therefore you would have to retake a specific class to be considered.

The school’s website states, “While many universities are implementing policies similar to SUNY Oneonta’s for the spring 2020 semester, each situation is different…Most graduate/health programs have not indicated that they will be lenient on their minimum grade rules.” In terms of Dean’s List, the school still requires 12-credit letter grades, so if you opt for Pass/Fail in one class, as long as you have 12-credits of letter grades, Dean’s List is still an option.

If you feel as if you are struggling to maintain your grades this semester due to the repercussions of COVID-19, speak to Academic Advisement on advice for the Pass/Fail grade system. When considering the option, there are important factors students should understand before opting for it. Students have until April 17 to commit to Pass/Fail should they choose to do so.

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