Pass/ Fail Grade Option for
FALL 2020 courses

Frequently Asked Questions



Download PDF Version of Pass/ Fail Grade Option for Fall 2020 courses Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the pass/fail grading option? The pass/fail grade option is an emergency grading system that permits students to receive a letter grade for their courses then offered the opportunity to switch some or all of their Fall Semester 2020 courses to a pass/fail grade system. 

The emergency pass/fail grade option will apply the following grades to undergraduate courses: 

a. P1 (pass) passing performance at the undergraduate level (letter grades A to C). Academic credit earned. 

b. P2 (low pass) passing performance at the undergraduate level (letter grade D). Academic credit earned. If a C or better is required, the course must be repeated. 

c. FC (fail) failing performance (letter grade F). No academic credit earned. 

Academic credits successfully completed under the Pass/Fail grading system will count toward the total earned semester hours but will not be included in the calculation of the cumulative grade point average. 

Why is this option available now? 

Elizabeth City State University recognizes that the transition to remote instruction to ensure the health and safety of the university community amidst the uncertainties of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has been particularly disruptive to the teaching and learning experience. Mindful of the extraordinary challenges and stresses that this disruption has created for students and faculty, the University is implementing these emergency measures to help mitigate related anxieties and enhance students’ academic success. 

Does this mean that the University’s grading system has changed? 

No. The pass/fail grading option is a temporary exception to the current grading system that will be available to students during spring and fall 2020 semesters. This emergency grading accommodation was developed in collaboration with the Faculty Senate leadership, SGA leadership, the UNC System Office, and the Office of the Provost to address a global crisis that has adversely impacted students and faculty. 

Which students are eligible to choose the pass/fail grade option? 

This option is available to all undergraduate students. 

What is the difference between a letter grade of “F” and a Pass/Fail grade of “FC”?

Letter Grade of “F” 

Carries 0 quality points. 

IS factored into to your term and cumulative GPA as 0 quality points and will negatively affect your GPA. 


Pass/Fail “FC” Grade 

Does not carry any numerical value for quality points. 

IS NOT factored into your term or cumulative GPA and will not affect your GPA. 


How will the Pass/Fail Option impact grade replacement (repeat courses)? 

A grade of P will not replace a prior grade earned for repeat course. Students will receive credits for repeat courses where a P grade is earned but the prior course grade will remain on the transcript and continue to be factored into the GPA. 

Will faculty have to change the way they are grading their courses this semester? 

No. Faculty will continue to maintain and record grades in accordance with the letter grade system in the ECSU catalogs for courses based on letter grades. There will be no change in the manner in which faculty traditionally input final grades. At the end of the exam period, faculty will submit grades in self –service banner as they normally do. All grades are due in Banner by 5:00 PM on Monday, November 30, 2020. Only after grades are submitted will the pass/fail grade option will be available (December 1 option available). Graduating students will have until December 7th to request a pass/fail grade option. Remaining students will have until January 29th to request the pass/fail grade option. Faculty will not be notified of the identity of students who have opted for the pass/fail grade conversion. 

How will the pass/fail option take place? 

Students will submit an Opt in request via Self-service banner no later than 5:00 p.m. on December 7th for graduating students and 5:00 p.m. on January 29th for all remaining students. INSTRUCTIONS: Students will log into their Self-Service Banner Account- Enter Secure Area- Click the Student Tab – Click the link “Pass/Fail Grading Option Request”. Students should read the instructions carefully before proceeding. Students will select the fall 2020 term. A student cannot submit a pass/fail grading option request if a final grade is missing or the grade received is an “I” grade. 

How will student decide whether or not to take the Pass/Fail option? 

Because decisions are final, students are strongly encouraged to consult with their academic advisors, program coordinators, or department chairs to consider carefully which courses are best suited for the pass/fail grading option. Through appropriate academic advising, students can be reminded of programmatic restrictions that may prevent the conversion of some course grades to pass/fail grade or other reasons why the conversion may not be advisable. Ultimately, the 

decision to designate a course for the pass/fail grading option and any responsibility associated with that decision reside with the individual student. 

What about major courses and professional programs that require a certain grade? 

Students are encouraged to consult with their academic advisors or program coordinators before making a decision about converting course grades to the pass/fail grading system. Academic advisors should discuss with students any accreditation standards or other programmatic requirements related to students’ academic performance in courses in the major. However, the decision to select the pass/fail grading option and any responsibility associated with that decision reside with the student. 

What if a student is repeating a course? 

Students currently retaking a course in an attempt to replace a low grade should not consider selecting the pass/fail option. However, students should consult with their academic advisors regarding all repeat courses in progress during Fall Semester 2020. 

What about grades for internships, practicum, or other field programs? 

Students enrolled in credit-bearing internships, practicum, or other field programs during Fall Semester 2020 should consult with their academic advisors or program coordinators before making a decision about converting those course grades to the pass/fail grading system. 

How will the pass/fail option affect the NCAA eligibility of Student Athletes? 

Currently, subject to NCAA guidelines and requirements, Student Athletes would not be eligible to select the pass/fail grade option due to the NCAA/ CIAA Division II GPA/PTD (Progress-Towards-Degree) requirements, unless there is a waiver provided by the NCAA specific to academic eligibility. Please use the following form to complete your request for a waiver Student Athlete Permission for Pass/Fail Waiver. After review by the Athletics Academic committee, you will be contacted by Athletics regarding the approval or denial of your waiver request. Student Athletes should consult with or direct questions about their academic eligibility to: Mr. George Bright, Director of Athletics, . Student athletes should consult with their academic advisor about the impact of their pass/fail decisions on their progress towards degree.

How will taking the pass/fail option affect students who are receiving financial aid? 

Choosing the pass/fail option will not change the aid a student received during fall 2020 semester but may impact a student’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) calculation. Due to the timing of the end of fall and the start of the spring semester, SAP will be calculated once final fall grades are reported but will need to be recalculated for any student who chooses to utilize the pass/fail option. Students should consult the FA office if they are considering taking a pass grade in place of a letter grade to determine if this would negatively affect the SAP status for upcoming semesters. 

Can I still give students an incomplete in a course? 

Yes. The incomplete (“I”) option will continue to be available to faculty to assign to students who are passing the course but who, due to extenuating circumstances, are unable to complete course requirements by the end of the term. Faculty will follow the existing academic procedures for assigning an “I” grade. The “I” Grade removal deadline is March 16, 2021 for “I” grades received during the fall 2020 semester.

Will the pass/fail grading option be available to students next academic year? 

No. The pass/fail grading option is a temporary emergency grade accommodation in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic and is currently applicable to spring and fall 2020 courses only.