clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Ivy League's crazy grade inflation, in one chart

Libby Nelson is Vox's policy editor, leading coverage of how government action and inaction shape American life. Libby has more than a decade of policy journalism experience, including at Inside Higher Ed and Politico. She joined Vox in 2014.

Grade point averages at Ivy League colleges have crept up over the past 50 years, according to this chart from the Economist:

ivy league grade inflation

The data comes from a variety of sources, including college newspapers and internal documents. But it's clear that over time, the trend has been on the rise — although Princeton isn't far from where it was in the mid-1980s, and Harvard appears to have settled at around a B-plus. Brown is leading the pack; the average GPA there is now almost an A-minus.

Colleges can stop grade inflation, as Wellesley College learned. But disarming unilaterally brings its own consequences.