An insightful article about higher education in the USA: The Disadvantages of an Elite Education. Here are some interesting quotes. It's a long article and all of it was quite interesting.
"Students at places like Cleveland State also don’t get A-’s just for doing the work. There’s been a lot of handwringing lately over grade inflation, and it is a scandal, but the most scandalous thing about it is how uneven it’s been.
Forty years ago, the average GPA at both public and private universities was about 2.6, still close to the traditional B-/C+ curve. Since then, it’s gone up everywhere, but not by anything like the same amount.
The average gpa at public universities is now about 3.0, a B; at private universities it’s about 3.3, just short of a B+. And at most Ivy League schools, it’s closer to 3.4. But there are always students who don’t do the work, or who are taking a class far outside their field (for fun or to fulfill a requirement), or who aren’t up to standard to begin with (athletes, legacies).
At a school like Yale, students who come to class and work hard expect nothing less than an A-. And most of the time, they get it." (from The Disadvantages of an Elite Education)
"The political implications don’t stop there. An elite education not only ushers you into the upper classes; it trains you for the life you will lead once you get there. I didn’t understand this until I began comparing my experience, and even more, my students’ experience, with the experience of a friend of mine who went to Cleveland State.
There are due dates and attendance requirements at places like Yale, but no one takes them very seriously. Extensions are available for the asking; threats to deduct credit for missed classes are rarely, if ever, carried out. In other words, students at places like Yale get an endless string of second chances.
Not so at places like Cleveland State. My friend once got a D in a class in which she’d been running an A because she was coming off a waitressing shift and had to hand in her term paper an hour late." (from The Disadvantages of an Elite Education)
Worth reading the whole thing: The Disadvantages of an Elite Education