Frequently Asked Questions
UNH supports the decisions made by high school faculty and administrators regarding what grading methods they think most appropriate given the academic adjustments required by the public health challenges we are all facing. Accordingly, we are deferring to what the high school/institution believes most appropriate for grading methods in the spring semester 2020. Students should still take full course loads, do as well as they can, and take courses pass/fail based on advice from teachers and school counselors. Both core and elective courses can be completed as pass/fail. Our guiding principles are to be flexible in these atypical times, not hold students accountable for things beyond their control, but still expect them to engage their school work to the best of their ability (acknowledging that circumstances will not be consistent for all students based on home arrangements/dynamics, access to internet, etc.). Students must still take required courses need for admission and/or the major they hope to study. If a student presents, in our opinion, too much ‘F’ achievement, admissions staff will consult with school counselors for additional detail and context of the student’s experience.
UNH ordinarily frowns upon students withdrawing from major classes during the academic year. We recognize that this semester (and only for this semester) some increased flexibility around this position is necessary. We would expect that students will only drop classes after consulting with the teacher and school counselor. UNH will support the decisions made by the HS or College Advisor regarding the individual decision to drop a class, with some exceptions as described below.
Struggling with challenging courses is a useful experience for students since not all courses will present similar or manageable challenges to a student. Learning how to persevere with a difficult class is a helpful skill for any student to acquire. Students should discuss their struggles with their teacher to determine if there are alternatives to the approach the student is taking with the class, or if there is a more fundamental issue at play that results in the difficulty the student is experiencing.
If dropping a core class results in a student not fulfilling minimum course expectations required for admission, a previously admitted student will place their admission to UNH in jeopardy. Additionally, some majors have admission requirements that might be compromised if a student drops a course during the senior year. Students should consult their school counselor or transfer advisor and the admissions office prior to dropping a class related to their intended major. For example, students in interested in the physical, life or engineering sciences are expected to complete a math and laboratory science class during the senior year of high school. If a student drops one or both classes during the spring/second semester, their admission to these programs might be in jeopardy, although the student might still be admitted to a non-science focused program at UNH.
We recognize that there may be delays in the submission of final official documents due to school closures. If you are not able to have your final transcript sent to UNH by July 15, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The University of New Hampshire wishes to support students during this uncertain time, and we will work with students on a case-by-case basis. Please be aware, however, that for first-year and transfer applicants, an official final transcript is required prior to the start of fall classes in order to secure your fall admission. Students seeking college credit for AP and IB courses, or college courses offered in the high school, must provide official transcripts from the authorizing organization (college/university, college board, etc.) for UNH to award any college credit.
We encourage students to continue to engage in learning as you complete your senior year of high school, and it is in your best interest to take advantage of any and all resources your school is providing for alternative learning to prepare you for your college education. However, we understand the extraordinary circumstances of COVID-19 and its impact on our admitted students and their schools. New first year students intending to enroll in the fall will need to have satisfied their high school’s graduation requirements; we will work with students on a case-by-case basis in evaluating the variety of ways in which schools have decided to complete the current academic year.
If a student does not take the associated exam necessary to award college credit, UNH will not grant any college credit for the course completed in high school. We remain committed to supporting students during these challenging times and will continue to accept AP credit(s) if exams are taken at home as outlined by College Board. Similarly, we will honor the guidance provided by examination boards such as Cambridge and other educational institutions for final documentation of successful coursework for IB/Cambridge (AICE) and dual credit courses. Please refer to UNH’s online AP and college credit policies as they pertain to the awarding of college credit in specific areas. In some instances, academic departments either prohibit or discourage the awarding of college credit based on high school coursework in programs related to the student’s intended major.
While we ordinarily discourage admitted students from making changes to their senior/spring class schedule, we are sensitive to the unique challenges that students face this year with COVID-19 and will exercise flexibility when reviewing each student’s senior class schedule. Most important is that admitted students continue to challenge themselves in subject areas where appropriate to remain competitive for their major and meet graduation requirements.
The existence of P/F on a transcript for current high school students in grades 9/10/11 will have no impact on scholarship eligibility for fall 2020 start term. Eligibility is determined by a student’s academic achievement in all other semesters with traditional letter or numeric grades and assessed in light of UNH’s expectations for scholarship recipients as defined on the website. Also significant is course selection and level of difficulty of courses. Standardized testing plays a role in scholarship eligibility for high school students who choose to submit test scores. Transfer students are not required to submit test scores. We recognize that this public health crisis impacts lives in various ways and students will not be penalized in scholarship eligibility because they had to, or choose to, be graded as P/F during the spring 2020 semester.
Students who are admitted to UNH, and received a merit scholarship will not see their scholarship eligibility impacted by pass/fail grades on their transcript for the spring 2020 semester if the student successfully earns a pass grade. If the student fails one or more of their classes this spring, that student’s admission to UNH and scholarship eligibility would be reassessed by asking the student for a detailed explanation of what occurred in the class and/or discussions with the school counselor or transfer advisor to learn more about the circumstances that led to the F grade.
UNH will review a student’s application materials in a broader context than just one semester of achievement. We will examine a student’s four-year pattern of achievement during the high school years or prior academic achievement for incoming transfer students.
We are accepting grades of Pass for now. These passing grades have been approved by Academic Standards and Advising Committee to fulfill Discovery Requirements as well.