North Central College - Naperville, IL

Plus/Minus Grading

In Fall 2002, North Central College adopted a plus/minus grading scale for all undergraduate and graduate courses.  The previous letter grades of A, B, C, D and F, expanded to A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D, and F.  The grade points are assigned to each letter grade as follows:

Grade Grade Points 
A 4.000
A- 3.700
B+ 3.300
B 3.000
B- 2.700
C+ 2.300
C 2.000
C- 1.700
D 1.000
F 0.000

Generally accepted percentage ranges to determine each grade are as follows:

Percentage Grade
93-100% A
90-92% A-
87-89% B+
83-86% B
80-82% B-
77-79% C+
73-76% C
70-72% C-
60-69% D
Below 60% F

However, individual instructors may establish a different percentage range for each plus/minus grade.  Individual course syllabi identify the standard applied in that course.  Each student should make sure he/she understands the standards being used in his/her courses.

This change is not retroactive to any prior terms a student was enrolled at the College.  All academic polices in the undergraduate catalog that refer to specific letter grade requirements as well as the incomplete policy remained unchanged.  For example, a department that required a minimum grade of C in a course does not accept a grade of C- to fulfill the requirement.  No undergraduate academic policies with a GPA requirement changed as a result of the new grading scheme (e.g., standards for Dean's List, academic standards for probation and dismissal, graduation requirements, graduation honors, etc.).

To illustrate how this change may affect a student’s grade point average (GPA), the following examples are provided: 

GPA calculated using A, B, C, D, F grades (old guidelines)
Student A enrolled in the following courses last year and earned the identified grades.  Applying the old A, B, C, D, F guidelines, Student A’s GPA was calculated as follows:

Courses    Credit Hours Grade Points Total Points
ENG 115 3 B/3.000 9.000
MTH 111 3 A/4.000 12.000
SPC 100 3 C/2.000 6.000
Total 9 Credit Hours   27.000 Points

Student A earned a total of 27.000 grade points for the term, which resulted in a term GPA of 3.000 (27 grade points divided by nine credit hours).

GPA calculated using A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D, F grades (new guidelines)
Student B enrolls in the courses this year, under the new guidelines.  With the following grades earned, Student B’s GPA will be calculated:

Courses Credit Hours Grade Points  Total Points
ENG 115 3 B+/3.300 9.900
MTH 111 3 A-/3.700 11.100
SPC 100 3 C+/2.300 6.900
Total 9 Credit Hours   27.900 Points

Student B will earn a total of 27.900 grade points for the term, resulting in a term GPA of 3.100 (27.9 grade points divided by nine credit hours).

Student C enrolls in the same courses this year, with a lower grade in one course.  Student C’s GPA will be calculated as follows:

Courses Credit Hours Grade Points Total Points
ENG 115 3 B-/2.700 8.100
MTH 111 3 A-/3.700 11.100
SPC 100 3 C+/2.300 6.900
Total 9 Credit Hours   26.100 Points

Student C will earn a total of 26.100 grade points for the term, resulting in a term GPA of 2.900 (26.1 grade points divided by nine credit hours).