A survey given to members of the Class of 2012 querying GPA and time spent on Facebook revealed a reported grade distribution significantly higher than the real grade distribution that seniors receive from the College Counseling Office. See Page 6 for a graphic comparison.
197 seniors responded to the survey, representative of 63 percent of the Senior class. Percentages from College Counseling’s Grade Distribution for the Class of 2012 were then applied to a hypothetical group of 197 students, and the comparison between the number of students in the two groups formed the basis for analysis.
The discrepancy between the charts could indicate a number of phenomon. It may indicate that students round their grades up to the whole number when responding to anonymous surveys. Another possibility si that that students who receive higher grades are more likely to respond to anonymous surveys.
Most conspicuous is the difference between students reporting their GPA as 6.0. The College Counseling Profile reports that one out of 197 students, 0.5 percent, would have 6.0 GPA. In contrast the student surveys reports that 8 out of 197 students, or 4.1 percent of students, have a 6.0 GPA.
The College Counseling Profile also states that 63 out of 197 students, or 32.0 percent of students, have a GPA between 5.0 and 6.0, while the student survey reported that 91 out of 197 students, or 46.2 percent of students, said they had a GPA within the same range, a 10.2 percent increase.
The College Counseling Profile reveals that 120 out of 197 students, or 60.9 percent of students, have a GPA between 4.0 and 5.0., while the student survey shows that 91 out of 197 students, or 46.2 percent of Seniors, reportedly have a GPA between 4.0 and 5.0. Comparison of grade ranges indicates a 14.7 percent decrease in the frequency of students reporting a GPA between 4.0 and 5.0 from the College Counseling Profile to the student survey.
The survey, however, was fairly accurate for students reporting their GPA being between 4.5 and 4.9, as the survey indicated that 70 students fall within this range and the College Counseling Profile projections report that 71 students fall within this range.
A Chi-squared value representing the statistical significance of the difference between what data is observed and what is expected was also calculated. The Chi-Squared value is 38.24 for a study with 7 degrees of freedom, indicating that the difference between the student survey data and the College Counseling Profile’s has less than a 1 percent chance of being due to random error.