Male College Students Ask for and Receive Favorable Grade Changes More Often Than Their Women Peers

A new working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research reports that male college students are more likely that their woman peers to seek a grade change from their instructors. And the paper finds that men are more successful in getting their grades changed than women.

The researchers found that 40 percent of students reported approaching instructors for grade changes at some point during their college careers. Over 60 percent of the requests lead to an improved grade on assignments or examinations, and over 30 percent resulted in better final grades for the course. Male students were 18.6 percent more likely than female students to receive favorable grade changes initiated by instructors. The authors note that even if the grades for male and female students were changed for the better at the same rate, the outcome may still favor male students simply because they ask for grade changes more frequently.

The authors conclude that “if men are more aggressive than women in bargaining for better grades, they may be more likely to convince their instructors to alter their grades which serve as productivity signals to potential employers. Gender differences in willingness to ask and to negotiate may then put equally capable female students at a relative disadvantage in the job market.”

The full report, “Ask and You Shall Receive? Gender Differences in Regrades in College.” may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study

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