/ Registrar's Office

Spring 2020 Pass/Fail

All Hope students may request pass/fail (P/F) options for any or all of their courses that run the duration or the last half of the Spring 2020 semester.

This policy is in place as a temporary rider for the official pass/fail policy to acknowledge the impact of COVID-19 on the spring semester. You may wish to compare the two policies to better understand the differences.

Spring 2020 Pass/Fail Details

During spring 2020, students who to elect a course under the pass/fail plan should complete the Pass/Fail Request Form.

The deadline to apply for a pass/fail option is Friday, July 31, 2020, at 5 p.m. This deadline will also allow the Registrar to settle any P/F requests before the start of Fall 2020.

If the request is for an elective course (not required for major, minor or general education), the application will be reviewed by the Registrar. The Registrar will facilitate conversations involving the student, the student’s academic advisor and any necessary program chairs or directors.

If the course is to be counted for a major or minor, the Registrar will include the student's major or minor program chair, and if the course is to meet a general education requirement, the Registrar will include the Director of General Education.

In order to provide the maximum flexibility for students, a P/F option can be requested after grades have been assigned. This will allow the student to have more information about both the grade they received and potential impacts on their chosen program.

If a pass/fail option is approved, instructors will assign a final course grade, and any grade of D- or better will be converted to a P.

Considerations for Choosing to Pass/Fail

Department Pass/Fail Recommendations

There are some things to consider when deciding if you should pass/fail a course:

  • If you pass/fail a course, the pass “P” grade (A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, D-) will not impact your GPA. If you are looking to boost your GPA and you are doing well in the course, it is best to take a standard letter grade in a course.
  • Are you required to complete the course with a specific grade as a prerequisite for another course you have to take? A pass grade might not be acceptable if the original grade you were assigned is too low. You will always have to get permission to override that prerequisite every time you register for a course that has that prerequisite.
  • Hope College cannot control the use made by other colleges and graduate and professional schools of Pass (P) grades that appear on the transcripts of Hope College students. A pass grade may not be acceptable for that program application.
  • No need to rush your decision. In order to provide you maximum flexibility and allow you to have more information about the grade you will receive and its potential impacts, the deadline to apply for a pass-fail option is 5 p.m. on Friday, July 31, 2020. This allows you time this summer to make a less harried decision, and it allows external accrediting bodies and graduate and professional programs time to weigh in on how they will review and/or accept P/F grades.

Financial Aid Considerations

Students receiving Hope College merit scholarships must maintain a certain cumulative GPA by the end of their sophomore year to remain eligible for their scholarship. If you are not meeting that GPA requirement at the end of the Spring 2020 semester, your scholarship will be automatically renewed and you will be given the 2020–21 academic year to increase your GPA. We will assess your merit scholarship eligibility again at the end of the Spring 2021 Semester.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is another year-end academic review required by the federal government to maintain eligibility for financial aid. Depending upon the total number of credits attempted, SAP requires students to:

  • Maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA). A grade of P (Pass) does not affect a student’s GPA. F grades will be calculated into a student’s GPA.


  • Complete a minimum percentage of total attempted credits. Both Pass and Fail grades will be counted towards a student’s attempted credits.

Find details of the SAP policy at the Financial Aid website.

SAP is measured annually at the end of each spring semester to determine a student’s financial aid eligibility for future enrollment periods. Students not meeting these SAP standards are notified by the Office of Financial Aid that they have become ineligible for future financial aid. Students may appeal and, if approved, will once again be considered for financial aid. The Office of Financial Aid will work closely with impacted students.

Due to the rapidly changing circumstances, the Office of Financial Aid is keeping a close eye on guidance from the Department of Education and will work with students through the process.

Spring 2020 Dean's List

Students must earn at least 12 credits of courses with a standard letter grade (not P/F) to be considered for the Dean's List. A grade point average of 3.5 or higher in these 12+ credits will earn students the Dean's List honor. All courses must be graded. No Report (NR) and Incomplete (I) grades prevent inclusion in the Dean's List.

Incomplete grades

Students should perform the work, and otherwise fulfill all the regular requirements of the course to the satisfaction of the instructor. If a student does not complete all of the assignments and requirements of the course, the student should request an incomplete grade.

An incomplete grade means that the student needs to complete the remaining assignments. The student should contact the instructor to receive approval for an incomplete grade. The instructor will submit an "I" final grade to the Registrar's Office. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the instructor and make a plan to complete the coursework for the class.

For spring 2020 incomplete grades, students will have until July 31, 2020, to complete their assignments for their courses and instructors have until August 7, 2020, to submit the changed grades from an “I” grade to a letter grade.

This policy does not apply to the first 7-week term/first-half semester of the spring 2020 semester when COVID-19 was not a factor.