June 24, 2020

Registrar Adds Note About COVID-19 and Impact on Student Performance to College Transcripts

The main quadrangle during the fall.

Oren Oppenheim / The Chicago Maroon

The COVID-19 pandemic has left its mark on the University and its students in many ways, including on student transcripts.

Below the courses and grades for spring quarter 2020 on both official and unofficial College transcripts, the University Registrar added a note about COVID-19 and the spring quarter’s remote instruction.

The note reads, “COVID-19: A global health emergency beginning in March of 2020 necessitated a move to remote teaching and learning. While learning objectives remained unchanged, assessment methods and student performance may have been impacted.”

“The College transcript notation, which appears on unofficial and official transcripts for Spring Quarter, is an acknowledgement of the extraordinary circumstances this quarter, including the move to remote instruction and the temporary pass/fail grading option,” University spokesperson Gerald McSwiggan wrote in a comment to The Maroon. “The intention is to give any third-party reviewer of the transcript (including graduate and professional schools) an understanding of how the changes may have impacted students, including many courses in which students or instructors used the temporary pass/fail grading option.”

The note comes in the context of a spring quarter held entirely remotely, which caused unprecedented challenges for low-income students, including difficulty accessing and affording the technology required for class; and students with disabilities, who often had to rely on the discretion of individual instructors for some accommodations.

The University ended up offering expanded pass/fail grading options during the quarter.


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