Late grade release date leaves students feeling frustrated

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A portion of students at Trent University have been expressing frustration at having their fall term grades not released until Monday, January 5 of this year.

Historically, fall term university grades are released by the Registrar’s Office after the holiday break, and last year they were released the second working day in the New Year.

This year, however, grades were actually released the first working day – which fell on a Monday. Being that classes started on the Wednesday of the same week, students were unfortunately only given a grace period of two days to analyze their academic standing before the new semester.

In anticipation of this, the Office of the Registrar (for the first time ever) published when grades would be released prior to the holiday break. Still, it turned out that a two day period between the release and the second semester wasn’t enough for some students.

While some argue that this is not that significant, others have come forward and said that the late release has directly affected their ability to properly plan for the new semester.

Issues have been raised about a graduating student, for instance, who needs to know their academic standing in order to decide whether or not they have to retake a class.

Other issues arise with students who may need to change around their schedule based on how they did in certain classes, and other students have brought up issues regarding scholarships and bursaries.

Other students have also indicated that this has caused undue stress and uncertainty heading into the new semester, and many have also said that their first week back has been unnecessarily hectic due to the late release.

A fourth year sociology student, who wished to remain anonymous, commented on the matter.

“It’s annoying and I think it’s typical of Trent. I was stressing the entire break about my grades and it’s not right that I didn’t know how I did until [January 5]. It’s not really fair for students who care and pay so much for their education to have to go through this type of needless stress and worry. School is stressful enough.”

They continued, “I don’t really think it’s acceptable for a University to do this either, all my friends at other schools had their grades back for a while now. Trent just dropped the ball.”

Tracy Al-idrissi, from the Office of the Registrar, expressed an understanding for the frustration that some students felt, but also noted that “…staff from the Registrar’s Office worked over the holiday break to ensure that grades could be released to students on the first working day after the break, January 5.”

It was a 16 day period from the last day of exams to the marks being posted. During this time, final marks are calculated by professors and submitted electronically to be approved by the Chairs of their departments. Once all the grades are verified, the Registrar’s Office is able to release grades to the students.

A teaching assistant, who chose to remain anonymous, said that grades are almost always submitted to the chair of the department before professors even leave for break.

One professor also added that, “It’s up to the school to get students their marks. [Professors and Teaching Assistants] usually get grades submitted the day after the exam. It’s up to the departments to officially release them.”

While there are some who argue that this isn’t a big deal and that the turn-around was quick enough, especially considering that administrative staff were working over the holiday break, another portion of students seemingly found this delay to be extremely frustrating and not acceptable conduct on the University’s part.