Temporary grading policy in response to COVID-19 crisis

Mar 27, 2020
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The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff is our top priority. Visit our webpage for resources and additional information.


Updated April 8: The information below about writing-intensive courses has been updated to reflect that these courses are eligible for S/U grades at Florida Poly because an “S” at Florida Poly is equivalent to a “C” or better.

In an attempt to help students continue to progress toward their degree and future career aspirations in a timely manner, the Florida Poly administration and faculty have approved a change in the current Grading and Withdrawal Policies for Spring 2020 courses. The following grading opportunities aim to be responsive and flexible to student needs, while at the same time maintaining the integrity of the academic mission of the University and the high-quality degree programs that students signed up for and that employers expect.

Late Withdrawal (W): Late withdrawals will be allowed for all students for all courses up to one week after the semester ends (semester ends May 1, 2020; late withdrawal date is allowed through May 8, 2020, 5 p.m. E.S.T.).

  • Students are eligible to opt for this late withdrawal if they were performing at the D- level or above before the remote learning period began (as of March 16, Midterm Grade as identified in CAMS, or Grade in Canvas as of March 16, whichever is higher).
  • Students opting for the late withdrawal must sign an acknowledgment showing that they understand the withdrawal impacts their progression toward degree completion.
  • These withdrawals would be coded as “W” and the notation below the semester on the transcript will read: “Extraordinary circumstances encountered (COVID-19)” and do not count toward the maximum number of withdrawals that a student may use.
  • A W does not count toward an individual’s GPA.
  • This policy change is uniquely positioned to allow students to attempt to succeed and then if they do not, for their transcript to show a “W” for the course noting extreme circumstances.
  • Late withdrawals do, however, impact a student’s progression toward degree, but a W-designation as we describe it allows a student to avoid getting a lower than expected grade, or a U grade on their transcript.

S—Satisfactory Grades: To promote student success, we will allow S options subject to the following conditions:

  • Students Enrolled in 14 or fewer credits may choose an “S” grade to replace up to four (4) credits of coursework for any grade received in the spring semester that is a “C” or better.
  • Students enrolled in 15 or more credits may choose an “S” grade to replace up to six (6) credits of coursework for any grade received in the spring semester that is a “C” or better.
  • Graduate Courses, Senior Capstone, and Writing-Intensive Courses1 are not eligible to receive an S designation.
  • This election must be made by the student within one week of the formal end of the semester (Formal end is May 1, 2020, so election must be made by May 8, 2020, 5 p.m. EST.).

Definition & Rules of S/U grades

  • A grade of S is equal to a C or better. (Students must earn the equivalent of a C grade or better in the course to earn an S.)
  • A grade equivalent to a C- or lower will is not eligible for an “S”. In an S/U grading system, a student earning the equivalent of a C-, D+, D, D-, or F would earn a “U” in a course; however, students should consider keeping the lower grade and progressing in their degree program or using a late Withdrawal, which would require them to retake the course.
  • The S grade in a course, is not used in the calculation of the GPA.
  • Courses with a grade of S will count as credits earned in a degree program. Such grades are included in the student’s permanent academic record and are reflected on the transcript.
  • Once a student elects the S option, they cannot revert to a letter grade.
  • Because an “S” at Florida Poly is equivalent to a “C” or better, writing-intensive (“W” or “Gordon-Rule”) courses are eligible for S/U grades.

Impact on Standing

  • If you are trying to raise your GPA to achieve academic good standing, S grades will not increase your GPA. The University has determined that students who select S grades for Spring 2020 will maintain their current level for academic standing for the next term. For example: if you are on probation currently and you need to raise your cumulative GPA to above a 2.0 to remove probation, selecting S grades will not change your academic standing. You will remain on probation.
  • If your academic standing is currently “probation,” or “reinstated from suspension,” and you elect to have some or all letter-graded courses, your academic standing will either remain at its current level or improve. It will not worsen.
  • It is important to note that graduate courses and  senior Capstone courses are not eligible for S grading.

Graduation Implications

  • All S graded coursework will count as attempted hours and earned hours toward graduation and other academic requirements.

Scholarship & Financial Aid

NOTE: More information from the Department of Education regarding Bright Futures and through the University’s Office of Financial Aid is anticipated.

  • If you are a Bright Futures Medallion award recipient, you will need to maintain a cumulative overall GPA of 2.75 or higher and meet the credit hour requirement (earn 24 credits between fall and spring if full time) for your scholarship to be renewed next year. An ‘S’ grade will earn credit but will not be applied to your GPA.
  • If you are a Bright Futures Academic award recipient, you will need to have a cumulative overall GPA of 3.00 GPA or higher and meet the credit hour requirement (earn 24 credits between fall and spring if full-time) for your scholarship to be renewed for next year. An ‘S’ grade will earn credit but will not be applied to your GPA.
  • If you have worked with the Financial Aid Office and your academic advisor to create an Academic Plan to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) guidelines, it is important to earn credit in all the courses on your academic plan. An ‘S’ grade will earn credit and is considered a passing grade. An F (or ‘U’) grade is not considered a passing grade and does not earn credit hours. Keep in mind, an ‘S’ grade will only be awarded if you have a C or better in the course. If you choose to receive a letter-grade, a ‘D-’ grade or better earns credit and is considered passing.
  • The minimum GPA requirement for renewing the Florida Poly Scholarship for the 2020-21 year will be lowered to a 2.0 cumulative GPA.

Classes Ineligible for S/U Grading

The following classes are not eligible for S/U Grading:

  • Graduate courses, unless already designated as such (e.g. thesis, project, or research hours).
  • All senior “Capstone” courses


Lydia Guzman
Director of Communications