The ratio of students making the dean?s list fell from 50 to 36 percent as a 3.4 grade point average requirement to make the list went into effect for the fall 2000 semester.

The requirement in previous years was a GPA of 3.0. Discussion about changing the requirement began in the spring of 1998 and heightened in April of 1999, after 50 percent of the student body ? 1,821 students ? made the dean?s list.

Making the dean?s list did not convey a real honor when half the body made it, said Suzanne O?Brien, associate dean of undergraduate studies and director of the Center for Academic Support.

?The requirement was changed because we didn?t think that it was appropriate to have so many people on the list,? she said.

This fall, 36 percent of undergraduates ? 1,327 students, made the dean?s list.

The faculty council then voted to change the requirement in November 1999.

The council chose 3.4 because that number coincides approximately with Latin honors, given to the top 32 percent of graduating seniors.

The faculty council also compared UR to similar schools in the Consortium on Financing Higher Education. It discovered that the average requirement to make the dean?s list at similar schools is 3.5.

?It brings our standards into line with other comparable institutions and makes the dean?s list more substantive,? said Dean of the College William Green.

The new requirement also offers flexibility to seniors and Take Five Scholars. They only need to complete 12 credit hours with passing grades to make the list, whereas other students must complete 16 hours with at least 12 carrying passing letter grades in addition to achieving a 3.4 GPA.

O?Brien has noticed a consistent increase in students? GPAs, which she attributes to the Renaissance Plan. This rise puts honor back into making the dean?s list, she said.

However, if you are one of those students who just missed the new requirement for the dean?s list, do not despair.

?It?s not unique. Forget about it and continue to do your best,? Green advised.

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