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Minnesota West Policies

Chapter 3 - Educational

3.17.1 Grading System

At the beginning of each semester, students must be informed by their instructor as to how they will be graded in each course. If the information is not provided by the faculty member, it should be requested.

Pass/Fail Policy
A student may request a "pass" (P) grade for any class in which he or she is enrolled. The "P" grade must be requested by the student ten school days prior to the end of the term. The "P" grade indicates the student has performed at a passing level. Passing level is interpreted as being a grade of "C" or better. Any student who achieves less than "C" level work will receive an "F" on his/her transcript. A student may have a total of 20% of his or her credits with a grade of "P".  It is not recommended that a student request a "P" grade for any course that will apply toward a major or minor.

Appealing Grades
In the case where a student disputes the grade he/she has received in a particular course, class or assignment, the student's first recourse is to meet with the instructor to discuss his or her concerns. If no resolution between the instructor and the student can be met the student should then refer to the Grade Appeal procedure.

Learning Contracts
Students on Academic Probation are expected to work with their advisor toward improving their grades by agreeing to a Learning Contract.  The Contract will outline what activities the student will participate in to raise his or her GPA.  Activities may include tutoring, meeting regularly with an advisor, attending Study Skills Workshops and other support activities.

Students who have been suspended and are re-entering the college will be required to participate in a Learning Contract/Case Management Program.

Right to Alternative Complaint
These procedures do not deny the right of any individual to pursue other avenues of recourse, which may include filing charges with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, initiating civil action or seeking redress under state and federal law.

Last Date of Attendance:
Last dates of attendance are entered through faculty eServices. It is expected that faculty will enter a date into this field for students who have quit attending or mark the check box for students who have never attended but have not withdrawn from their class. A grading symbol of “F” will automatically be entered for any student for which a last date of attendance is entered. A grading symbol of FN will be automatically entered for any student marked as never attending.

Students will be allowed to submit an official withdrawal from the course if doing so falls within the withdrawal deadline per policy 5.12.0.  For courses where faculty have reported that the student started but quit attending, the Registrar’s Office will then change the “F” to a “W” and enter the Last Date of Attendance as the date the official withdrawal form is submitted to the registration office. For courses where faculty have reported the student as never attended, the FN and last date of attendance shall not be changed.

Grading System
The following grading system is used at Minnesota West to report academic achievement and to compute the student's grade point average.

Letter grade


Grade Point Value per Credit Hour

Grade Point Value




4x # of course credits










Above Average


3x # of course credits












2x # of course credits










Below Average


1x # of course credits








0x # of course credits




0x # of course credits


Failure Never Attended

No earned credit



No Credit

(assigned only to courses numbered below 100 which are not passed)

No grade point value earned



Pass - C or higher grade must be earned to receive a grade of P

Earned credit but no grade point value




No earned credit



Audit-no credit earned

No grade assigned or grade point value



In Progress

No grade assigned at this time



Course registered for but grade not yet assigned

No grade assigned



Credit by Test Out

No Grade point toward GPA



Grade points:
A letter grade is assigned at the end of a semester for each course in which the student is enrolled. A grade point value for each credit in the course is assigned to each letter grade.

Grade Point Total:
Grade point total is the sum of grade points earned as determined by multiplying the grade point value by the number of course credits.

Grade Point Average:
Grade point average (GPA) is the student's grade point total divided by the grade point credits. Each grade report shows the student's GPA for the term and cumulative GPA since admission. "P" does not carry a grade point value and as such, is not calculated in the GPA. A "P" will not improve the student's GPA. However, the credits count toward registered credits.

The unit by which academic work is measured.

Registered Credits:
The total number of credits for which a student is officially enrolled at the end of the registration drop period each term.

Completed Credits:
Completed credits include A, B, C, D, P, and F. They do not include "I" (incomplete), "IP" (In Progress), "W" (withdraw), audit, no credit, or drops (classes dropped during the first days of class).  Completed credits may qualify for retroactive payment of financial aid.

Earned Credits:
Earned credits are successfully completed credits that count toward the required percentage of completion. Earned credits include only A, B, C, D, and P.

The mark "I" is a temporary grade that is assigned only in exceptional circumstances. An "I" grade will automatically become an "F" grade at the end of the next semester. Faculty has the option of setting an earlier completion date.

Repeat Credits:
Credits awarded when a student repeats a course in order to improve a grade.  A student may repeat a course two times and the most recent grade will become the grade calculated for GPA purposes. If a student chooses to take a course more than three times, the third grade and all subsequent grades in that course will be averaged into the GPA.

Developmental Credits:
Credits awarded for completed work in courses numbered below the course prefix 1000. Students may receive financial aid for developmental credits up to a maximum of 30 semester hours.

Transfer Credits:
Credits that are accepted by the college. Accepted transfer credits are not included in the calculation of GPA, but are used in the calculation of the 67 percent completion rule.

Cumulative Credits (Cumulative attempted CUMATT on transcript):
Cumulative credits are the total number of credits registered for all terms of enrollment at the college, including summer terms and terms for semesters for which the student did not receive financial aid.

Cumulative Credits:
Cumulative credits are the total number of credits registered for all terms of enrollment at the college, including summer terms and terms for semesters for which the student did not receive financial aid.

Term used to identify a course taken by a student who wishes to obtain the information presented but does not wish to earn credit. Students who audit a course are not required to complete assigned work or take written examinations. Audited courses do not count toward Cumulative Credits toward graduation and do not figure into the grade point average. Audits are designated by the grade of AU on the transcript. To register for an audit, notify the registrar of intent at the time of registration so the appropriate designation may be made. Audits are allowed on a space available basis only. Full tuition and fees must be paid. No financial aid is available for classes taken for audit.

Approved by: Ron Wood, President
Date: July 1, 2003
History & Revision:
Revision effective 1/1/2008
Revision effective 8/2017
Revision effective 11/27/17