How economic incentives and new technology are reshaping education at UIUC
It’s finals week at the University of Illinois. Students nose-deep in textbooks cram into every available space of campus libraries, including the Undergraduate Library, where three juniors huddle around a table plastered with notes and papers, each looking intently at laptop screens.
Nini Sulaiman, Carmen Carteno and Adrian Hernandez have been there for many hours, and it will be many more before they leave. Sulaiman, a psychology and kinesiology major, is fresh off of an all-nighter and plans to do another tonight. Hernandez, a chemistry major with a final coming in two days, plans two of his own back-to-back all-nighters. They and Carteno care about grades. All have GPAs of 3.2.
Little do they know — all-nighters or not — that well more than half of all course grades given at UI last year were A’s, and the percentage has been rising for more than a decade….
As State funding decreased, the University sought to increase the profitability of its courses: bigger and online.