External Affairs Division

USG Students Made Academic Progress in Spring 2020 Despite COVID-19

Atlanta — June 3, 2020

University System of Georgia (USG) students continued to make successful academic progress despite the rapid shift to remote instruction caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with Spring 2020 grades remaining at least as strong as those earned by students in previous spring semesters.

A new systemwide grading analysis of all 26 USG institutions shows significantly more A grades awarded this spring and lower rates of students failing or withdrawing from courses. As compared to Spring 2019, the proportion of A grades awarded to students increased from 44.1% to 52.4%, while students’ failing or withdrawal (DFW) rate decreased from 14.3% to 12.2%.

This grading distribution remained true for student sub-groups including by race and ethnicity and those eligible for the federal Pell Grant. It was also consistent for both lower division and upper division undergraduate courses, as well as for all graduate and professional course grades within USG.

“Our students continue to show resilience and determination in pursuing their studies, and I am grateful for how often they have overcome the challenges thrown at them by COVID-19,” USG Chancellor Steve Wrigley said. “Faculty and staff also worked hard to transition courses to an online format while maintaining their quality. I appreciate their flexibility and remain confident they will continue to do everything in their power to help every one of our students succeed.”

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, USG announced on March 16 that all institutions would move to online instruction for the remainder of the semester. In the following days and weeks, USG and its institutions expanded access to academic resources and support systems. This has included additional online learning and teaching tools available through Keep Learning USG, Keep Teaching USG and USG Learning Everywhere, as well as the newly redesigned Georgia On My Line website that connects students to online degree programs and certificates offered throughout system. USG has also increased access to internet and Wi-Fi services across the state for students’ digital learning needs, and made available to all students the resources of doctors, nurses and mental health specialists as they experience issues related to COVID-19.

While remote instruction continues through summer semester, USG institutions will return to in-person instruction for fall semester, and each campus is now planning for that return.

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