Email to Students on Pass No Credit

Sent on behalf of Dr. Mark Ginn, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education

Greetings Students,

Yesterday, the university made the decision to adopt an Enhanced Pass No Credit Grading System (P/NC) for the Fall 2020 semester.  Discussion of the policy started with a bill passed by the Student Government Association Senate and then was approved by the Undergraduate Academic Policy and Procedures faculty committee before going to the Provost for final approval.  The policy document is attached.  The purpose of this email is to lay out how students can use both this policy and the changes to our withdrawal and grade forgiveness policies that were announced earlier in the semester.  All students are encouraged to seek advice from advisors, instructors, and/or faculty in your major department about the consequences of making different decisions to your degree progress, future career or graduate educational plans, or licensure or certification requirements of your degree program.  Withdrawals can also have financial aid consequences that students should consider.

Here is a synopsis of what will happen and your options.  

  1. Classes will continue in the same manner that was planned for the rest of the semester.  At the conclusion of the semester faculty will assign grades to students based on the grade system that was assigned at registration.  (For almost all classes this is the letter grade system, a few courses are S/U, and some students may have signed up for P/F during drop/add).  Students are strongly encouraged to work to complete all courses as strongly as possible.  Resources to help you can be found on our Keep Learning page.

  2. As announced earlier, a student may withdraw from any course until December 18 at 11:59PM.  This course will appear on their transcript with a W grade, they will not receive credit for the course and the course will not be used in grade point average calculations.  Any course dropped during this semester will not count as a career drop.

  3. Beginning Monday, November 16 and going until Friday December 18 at 11:59PM, a student may go into Banner Self Service and on a course by course basis opt in to the Enhanced Pass No Credit grading policy.  This is only available for undergraduate courses.  Undergraduate students taking graduate courses as part of an Accelerated Admissions program will not be allowed to opt in to Pass No Credit for graduate level courses unless a similar policy is adopted by the Graduate School.  Students can change their choices on opting in to the system until December 18 at 11:59 PM but not after that.  Faculty will not have the ability to see if students opted into this program until grades are final (after December 18).  Here is how the Pass No Credit System works:

    1. If a student chooses to adopt the alternate grading format for a course, their grade in that course will not be used in GPA computations. Furthermore the grade will be recorded by adding a “P_“ before the grade assigned for passing grades and by changing an F to NC. Thus the possible grades in the alternate system are P A, P A-, P B+, P B, P B-, P C+, P C, P C-, P D+, P D, P D-, and NC and these will be the grades that will appear in Banner, including in Banner Self Service. All official transcripts from Appalachian State only show the first two characters of the grade so will either show P or NC. A grade of NC does not earn course credit, does count as attempted credit hours, but is not used in GPA computations.  Any student receiving an F in a course should almost certainly opt in to the P/NC system for that course.

    2. The letter grade part of the grade will still be used in determining major, minor, certificate, and prerequisite requirements if there is a grade requirement.

Again, please discuss your options with your advisor.  Below are some explanations of some special circumstances that may arise for some students but will not apply to all.  Please feel free to contact your advisor or me ( if you have any questions.



 Mark Ginn

 Enhanced Pass-No Credit Alternate Grading System [PDF]


  • Probation and Suspension Unlike in the spring, the university will continue to process academic probations and suspensions by our normal policies.  Those policies can be found here

  • Dean’s List and Chancellor’s List Dean’s or Chancellor’s list will be awarded to any undergraduate student who carries 12 semester hours or more of coursework on which grade points are computed and who meets the grade point average threshold for each list.   Only those courses earning credit toward graduation will be used in determining eligibility for honors. This is not a change from our normal policy but is a change from Spring 2020.

  • Transcript Note A note will be added to all academic transcripts indicating the major disruption this pandemic has caused to the academic experience.

  • Grade Forgiveness If a student is repeating a course seeking grade forgiveness this semester, the only way to replace their original grade is to stay with the letter grade option for the course. A student may opt in to the P/NC system for the repeated course for this semester but if they do the original/initial grade will not be replaced. However, a student who opts into a grade of P will be allowed to use grade forgiveness again for this course at a future time if desired.  A student also has the option to withdraw from any course until December 18 at 11:59PM. As was announced earlier this semester, any course that a student is taking for the initial time this semester may be repeated for grade forgiveness in a future semester and will not count as one of the students four grade forgiveness courses.

  • Incompletes Incomplete grades are assigned only because of sickness or some other unavoidable cause. An “I” becomes an “F” or “U” if not removed within the time designated by the instructor, not to exceed one semester, except that all incompletes must be removed at the time of graduation. An Incomplete is not given merely because assignments were not completed during the semester, nor is an incomplete given if the student never attended the class.

Students are not permitted to attend a class in a future semester in which they earned a grade of “I” in order to complete the incomplete without prior approval by the Dean’s Office of the college teaching the course. In addition, students do not re-register or audit a class in which a grade of “I” was earned in order to complete the incomplete. If a student receives a grade of “I” in a class and then re-registers for or audits the class (either with the same or a different professor), the grade of “I” in the first class will default to “F” or “U”.

  • Incompletes from Spring 2020

If a student has an incomplete from Spring 2020, they will be allowed to switch to the P/NC Alternate Grading System for that course within five days of when their grade is assigned following the procedure in the Fall 2020 section below. They also have the option of extending the deadline to complete their work if necessary due to the unusual circumstances of this semester. A student who wishes to extend the deadline for their incomplete should contact their instructor who should submit a grade change in Appalnet with a grade of I and a new extension date.

  • Incompletes for Summer 2020

Incompletes from Summer 2020 will not be eligible for the P/NC Alternate Grading System as it was not available during the summer term.  Students will however have the option of extending the deadline to complete their work if necessary due to the unusual circumstances of this semester. A student who wishes to extend the deadline for their incomplete should contact their instructor who should submit a grade change in Appalnet with a grade of I and a new extension date.

  • Incompletes for Fall 2020

Obviously, this semester contained an “unavoidable cause” that may have kept students from completing their coursework. We encourage you to work with students to try to get their work completed this semester as much as possible but certainly it is possible that some may need to be assigned an “I” grade. These students will still have the option of switching to the P/NC Alternate Grading System for this course either before the December 18 deadline, or within five days after their letter grade is assigned. To allow for this processing, all incompletes need to be completed and grades submitted by faculty by May 3, 2021. This is seven days before final grades are due and is necessary to allow processing by the Registrar’s Office. No late exceptions will be given. 

If a student opts into the P/NC Alternate Grading System on the Appalnet page before the December 18 deadline then the grade will automatically be converted to the P/NC system when it is submitted by the faculty member. If the work is not completed, the “I” will roll to an “NC”. Faculty will still submit the letter grade with the Grade Change form in Appalnet.

If a student wishes to wait until after they receive their letter grade to decide whether or not to opt in to the P/NC system, they can make that decision known by emailing asking for the switch within five days of the time the letter grade is submitted. Faculty will record the grade that the student earns after completing the incomplete with the Grade Change form in Appalnet just as they normally do for an incomplete.

Published: Nov 5, 2020 4:26pm