grade inflation


: a rise in the average grade assigned to students
especially : the assigning of grades higher than previously assigned for given levels of achievement

Examples of grade inflation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Aiding some parents in this delusional journey is the current epidemic of grade inflation in both high school and college. Sherry Kuehl, Kansas City Star, 31 Jan. 2024 Wonder Land: College Presidents' spineless response to antisemitic protests are the culmination of academia’s plummet the past 50 years which has included grade inflation, speech codes, trigger warnings and ultimately cancel culture. Michael Toth, WSJ, 15 Jan. 2024 Test scores are more reliable than high school grades, partly because of grade inflation in recent years. David Leonhardt, New York Times, 7 Jan. 2024 Harvard’s next president might also signal commitment to Veritas by taking a strong stance against grade inflation. Alexander Hughes, National Review, 4 Jan. 2024 Furthermore, institutions of higher learning must refocus on academic excellence by scaling back rampant grade inflation, defining their value primarily by the intellectual contributions of their scholars rather than their production of activists, and improving ideological diversity on campus. Joe Pitts, National Review, 23 Dec. 2023 In 1998-99, Yale’s average G.P.A. was 3.42, according to a 2013 report on grade inflation. Amelia Nierenberg, New York Times, 5 Dec. 2023 Visible acts of dadliness are subject to a kind of social grade inflation that Gomez is savvy to utilize. Phillip MacIak, New York Times, 22 Feb. 2023 At my college the opposite has been true compared with high schools, where instead of withholding merit from talented students, grade inflation aims to reward mediocre students by boosting their grades to create grade equity. WSJ, 24 Jan. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'grade inflation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1975, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of grade inflation was in 1975

Dictionary Entries Near grade inflation

Cite this Entry

“Grade inflation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2024.

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