Ivy League university moves to allow students to drop classes on LAST DAY

Cornell University and the University of Illinois extended the drop deadline for courses to the last day of class.

These announcements come as leading universities across the United States trend toward relaxing their academic standards in response to COVID-19.

Multiple universities are extending the deadline for dropping courses to the last day of classes.

In a letter to the student body, Cornell University announced that students may “drop a course without a W through the last day of instruction” on May 14. This policy applies to full-semester and half-semester classes.

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University officials attributed the change in policy to the recent death of a student and the “intersecting stressors related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including xenophobia, health disparities, national reckonings related to racial injustice, political upheaval, and economic downturn.”  

“We recognize the impact of these acute and cumulative stressors on one’s body, mind, and emotions and that each of you are navigating them through your own ways of coping,” wrote Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Lisa Nishii on April 13, “While it is both normal and understandable to have difficulty managing academics when concentration, memory, and sleep are compromised, we also know that some of you rely on your academic pursuits to provide a sense of structure and predictability in these uncertain times.”

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The new grading policy was instituted to benefit students who feel “overwhelmed, utterly exhausted, and need more space to process their emotions and grieve.”

Weeks earlier, the University of Illinois unveiled a similar policy.

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On Feb. 11, the school announced that the drop deadline would be extended to the last day of the class in question. If students drop a course by this deadline, it is "erased from your official transcript."

The University of Virginia, for example, extended its test-optional admissions policy for two more years.

Campus Reform reached out to Cornell University and the University of Illinois for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.

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