Princeton University threw down the gauntlet a decade ago. Grade inflation was seen as a serious problem, and the University imposed a deflation policy which stated that in each and every class on campus, less than 35% could receive an A (which includes a grade of A-). Students worried that i=the policy would affect graduate school admissions and fewer job prospects in management consulting and finance. This has not proven to be the case, in great part due to Princeton’s concerted efforts to explain the policy to potential employers and graduate school admissions officers. Nonetheless, Princeton has stated that it will review the policy.
Now Yale finds itself with a situation where 62% of undergraduates receive an A, ad a faculty committee is looking into causes and possible remedies. The New York Times Education section (2/9/14) also reported that at a recent faculty meeting at Harvard, the dean of undergraduate education made news by telling a faculty committee that the current median grade there is an A-, and the most frequently awarded grade is an A.
This is a national trend, more marked among private institutions. A recent study showed that at 200 private colleges and universities, 40% of students earned an A