, a trusted resource for online degree rankings and higher education planning, has published a recent survey report that evaluates the prevalence of “grade grubbing” at educational institutions and how educators respond to that practice. The report also shares insight into how educators perceive Generation Z’s grade grubbing tendencies compared to previous generations of students. In total, surveyed 288 high school teachers and college professors.

According to the survey, 44 percent of educators say students ‘somewhat’ or ‘very often’ ask them to change their grades to a higher score even when they did not earn it. Additionally, 24 percent say this happens ‘every so often,’ 25 percent say ‘rarely,’ and 6 percent say ‘never.’ The top reasons students have given as justification for changing their grades include trouble in their personal lives, class difficulty, unfair grading, or sickness.

Survey results show that these grade change requests are adequate, with 8 in 10 educators giving in to them. Eleven percent say they ‘almost always’ improve students’ grades when asked, 17 percent say ‘sometimes,’ 20 percent say ‘occasionally,’ 34 percent say ‘rarely,’ and 18 percent say ‘never.’ Among educators who have previously agreed to improve students’ grades, the top reasons cited include believing the student deserved a second chance, feeling bad for the student, and fearing retribution for not changing grades.

““It’s important to understand what’s behind students’ concern about grades – and it’s more than a feeling of entitlement,” says Diane Gayeski, Professor and Higher Education Advisor. “Most college students in the U.S. have some type of scholarship, and it’s typical for them to be required to maintain a 3.0 (B) average– some scholarships require an even higher GPA. Just one C grade (which some professors feel is ‘average’) can put a student in jeopardy of losing their scholarship and having to drop out of school, essentially wasting the money and time they have already invested.”

Survey results also indicate that 45 percent of educators believe Generation Z students request higher grades more frequently than students from previous generations. Among this group, 73 percent say this is the result of ‘a sense of entitlement,’ 65 percent say ‘a lack of willingness to work hard,’ and 48 percent say ‘setbacks due to the pandemic.’

This survey was commissioned by and conducted online by the survey platform Pollfish on August 23, 2023. In total, 288 respondents completed the full survey. To view the complete report, please visit:

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