Starting this academic year, Lake Forest College will move to a Pass/Fail system from the former Credit/D/Fail policy, according to an announcement sent by email from Ann Roberts, associate dean of the faculty, on September 4.

The Pass/Fail gives students the opportunity to receive credit in a course as long as they earn better than a D- in the class, even though P or F will appear on their transcript.

“Going to a liberal arts school, we have the ability to take a lot of classes that may or may not be in your specialty,” said Louisa van Arkken ’18, who studies environmental studies.

“As a senior, I know a lot of my friends are concerned about (getting into) graduate school so the ability to take a class Pass/Fail takes off a lot of stress.”

For Monica Luna ‘19, who studies english English, says that as as a First Generation student, she did not know about the option at all until she was told about it during new student orientation.

“I learned about it through a professor, but I would have not known unless I was told,” she said. “ I’ve never used it, but I know it’s been valuable to my friends before. The changes don’t seem too big–as long as it’s still an option, that’s all that matters.”

The College’s email outlined that “no more than four grades of Pass/Fail may appear on a transcript at any one time excepting those courses or activities that are graded only as pass/fail, such as internships, practica, and some courses.”

In previous years, students had the ability to take a class for Credit/D/Fail grades instead of a letter grade in an effort to allow them to take more challenging classes without fear of harming their GPA.

Now students do not need to worry about receiving a D as the option has been ruled out with the most recent switch.

As in previous years, students still need to consult with their advisors and get their signature on required forms before deciding to use the new Pass/Fail system.

The deadline to fill out the neessary paperwork is October 24th.

Some students find the change to be relieving.

“The fact that [a student]has the ability to make that decision even halfway into the semester is great,” said Amanda Peterson ’18, who is double majoring in Spanish and sociology. “For people who might have experienced a health issue or family emergency during the semester, Pass/Fail is a great safety net.”

The required paperwork to pursue the Credit/Fail option can be found at

Emily White can be reached at


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