More than half the grades given to Brown students last year were A's, the university reports. The 1.1 percentage-point increase over the previous year puts the figure at 50.6 percent, which is about 15.8 percentage points higher than in the 1994-1995 school year, writes the Brown Daily Herald.
While grades are up across all disciplines, students in the humanities, social sciences, and life sciences receive the highest proportion of top grades, while 47.1 percent of grades given to students in the physical sciences were A's.
Cynics say grade inflation explains the increase, while the system's defenders point to better high school prep and higher admissions standards. "I think people should not rule out the possibility that students are just doing better," said one faculty member. "We don't have to always look for nefarious or bad reasons."