COVID-19 Prevention & Response Plan


see email of April 7

March 27, 2020

Dear Reed students,

Given the extraordinary circumstances that we find ourselves in, Reed has expanded grading options for this semester. New options to take classes for credit or no credit have been introduced, and the details are important, so please read this email carefully. To allow adequate time for you to evaluate your options and speak with your instructors, the college has extended the decision deadline to April 17.

Typically, it is rare to take a class for credit or no credit (Cr/NCr) at Reed. For those who do not know, to take a class Cr/NCr means that you receive one of only two grades, credit (Cr) or no credit (NCr), rather than a letter grade. In a normal semester, one cannot use a Cr grade to fulfill any requirements; one cannot take a class Cr/NCr if one is a first-year or sophomore; one cannot take any class Cr/NCr within one’s major department; and one can take a maximum of two Cr/NCr classes in one’s Reed career.

For this semester only, almost all of these rules will be waived; students may elect, if they wish, to shift almost all their graded classes to Cr/NCr. Reed's updated Cr/NCr guidelines are as follows:

  • With the exception of the senior thesis and year-long classes such as Hum 110, any class can be taken for Cr/NCr, including classes that students are using to fulfill requirements. That is, any semester-long class, other than a one-semester thesis, can be taken for Cr/NCr.
  • All students, including first-year students and sophomores, can take classes (other than thesis and year-long classes) for Cr/NCr.
  • All students can take as many classes (other than thesis and year-long classes) as they wish for Cr/NCr.
  • Any classes taken Cr/NCr this semester will not contribute to the usual cap of two courses taken Cr/NCr over a student’s career.
  • Students will receive a grade of Cr if they receive any passing grade (D or higher). (Usually, students only receive a Cr if they complete a course with a satisfactory grade of C or higher.)
  • Note that the grades of Cr and NCr do not factor into your GPA. NCr does not count as a completed unit, but it does not reduce your GPA.


  • Each student who wishes to take a class Cr/NCr must complete the process by the deadline; this is not an automatic action.
  • Students need to email a completed credit/no credit grading change form to their instructor, copying their adviser and the registrar’s office (, prior to 5 p.m. on April 17 if they wish to switch from a normal grade to Cr/NCr.
  • Students should consult with their instructors and advisers before making this choice. Your instructors and adviser can help you determine if this is a prudent move for you.
  • Students can make only one change; that is, if you elect to go Cr/NCr on a course, you cannot change back, even prior to the deadline.

We want to emphasize that students should take time to consider their options. Choosing to take one or more classes Cr/NCr will be the right decision for some students but not for others. It is important to assess your circumstances with your instructors and to remember that faculty are setting their expectations relative to the constraints and possibilities of this extraordinary moment.

F grades will become NCr

Please note that for this term only, F grades will appear as NCr on the transcript; that is, if you fail a class, it will not count against your GPA. We hope that this will provide more flexibility in making your decision.

Financial aid

Financial aid eligibility will not be affected by receiving Cr instead of letter grades. Reed's financial aid policy, as it relates to academic progress, is as follows:

  • To maintain eligibility for financial aid, students must make “satisfactory academic progress.” This requires students to earn a minimum of three units per semester and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. Students who receive a Cr will complete the unit, and their GPA will be unaffected.
  • Grades of C- or lower could, as usual, negatively impact the minimum 2.0 GPA requirement.
  • NCr grades do not affect GPA but do not constitute a completed unit; students need to complete a minimum of three units to maintain eligibility for financial aid.
  • Students who do not maintain “satisfactory academic progress” are placed on Financial Aid Warning for the following semester but are still eligible for aid during that semester. Students who are currently on Financial Aid Warning would be placed on Financial Aid Suspension for the upcoming semester. Students on Financial Aid Suspension are not eligible for financial aid during the upcoming semester. However, students on suspension may appeal due to extenuating circumstances. Given the extenuating circumstances surrounding COVID-19, it is extremely likely that appeals will be approved.


For students on probation, a Cr will count as satisfactory completion of a course.

Other deadlines

Other deadlines will also be moved to April 17 to align with the Cr/NCr change deadline, including the following:

  • The deadline to withdraw from a semester class with a W.
  • The deadlines for leave and withdrawal from the college. Please note that the tuition refund policy and schedule remain unchanged.


Nigel Nicholson
Dean of the Faculty & Walter Mintz Professor of Ancient Mediterranean Studies