The University of North Dakota recently sent out recognition letters to its students that made the Dean’s List. The Dean’s List compiles students from each college within the university that received a GPA of 3.5 or higher for the Fall 2020 semester. These are just the University of North Dakota’s requirements. Academic success levels vary throughout institutions. Due to the socioeconomic gap comparing university institutions, as well as the varying sizes of colleges, the benefits of making the Dean’s List are less apparent.
Graduate programs and employers are rarely interested in Dean’s Listers anymore. Although making the Dean’s List is a great personal achievement, it is not so much based on personal GPA than it is on the competitiveness of the institution’s programs and performance, and class sizes. At UND, making the Dean’s List congratulates a student on performing in the top 15% of their college. Other national universities hold their student body to much higher standards. Being a Dean’s List resident on larger campuses requires students to be among the top one to five percent of their faculty in terms of academics. Not only are the stakes raised for grading, but the number of students in competition for placement is much higher as well. Therefore, grade recognition on official transcripts is going to be perceived as much more reputable coming from more prestigious schools.
Regardless of the institution, being recognized on the Dean’s List demands incredible academic commitment and dedication. Most institutions suggest that a student’s “reward” for being on the Dean’s List is putting the achievement on their resume. However, almost all professional resume guides suggest that unless the student has been on the Dean’s List every semester, the title should not be added to a resume. Making the Dean’s List once or twice, inconsistently, is not respected enough among employers.
For true academic recognition, universities should consider other forms of rewards for student’s dedication to their colleges. Aside from student-athletes and individuals receiving a full scholarship to attend college, there is very little financial relief offered to students. Scholarship programs and availabilities are extremely competitive and never guaranteed. A more appropriate reward for Dean’s Lister’s engagement and passion is financial aid in the form of a scholarship. Students would be ecstatic to receive $500 for their course dedication, and it would make a successful incentive for departments encouraging higher grades. Several universities in the United States offer students the opportunity to be selected for a scholarship if they make the Dean’s List. The University of North Dakota does not, nor does it automatically grant any financial aid for academic merit.
Brooke Kruger is a Dakota Student Opinion Writer. She can be reached at [email protected]