Above and Beyond


Auburn students go to creative lengths to boost their grades

Each semester, students are constantly looking for ways to boost their GPA. Ranked fifth among the schools where it is difficult to receive an “A” in a class according to multiple online databases, Auburn University is filled with some of the hardest-working and dedicated students. Many students spend countless hours attending SI sessions, going to professors’ office hours and even pulling all-nighters at the library to ensure great exam scores. In reality, this is just the minimum effort required. Some professors allow their students to go above and beyond by doing extra credit work. Most of the time, these extra credit assignments can be an extra worksheet, a few nonobligatory quizzes or even superb attendance, but some professors get very creative with their extra credit opportunities. How extra can extra credit be? 

Extra Credit

For Dr. Beckingham’s Principles of Chemical Engineering class, students annually dress up on Halloween to earn a few extra points. In many human anatomy classes, professors encouraged students to donate blood for those in need, offering bonus points in return. Geology lecturer John Hawkins asks his students to venture into Georgia to visit places like Providence Canyon and Stone Mountain for an extra point; providing students with a reason to make friends in the class and go on a road trip to these geological wonders. In the business realm, Tracy Richard is a professor loved by many because of her extra credit opportunities, such as her famous “Finance Rocks” assignment. She asks students to display “Finance Rocks” in the most creative ways, whether it be on billboards, paintings, celebrity endorsements or anything in between. Richard explains, “Just today, I got a picture from the CFO of Coca-Cola. A student reached out to him and asked him to hold up a sign that says, ‘Finance Rocks.’” She says, “I like to give extra credit to give the students an opportunity to engage with the class. I also like to reward the students that come to class everyday by giving extra credit for good attendance.” From cookie cakes to videos of Taylor Swift, Tracy Richard’s staple assignment has evolved into its own sort of phenomenon. 

College curriculum is very difficult, especially in many classes here at Auburn. Part of getting a good grade is intelligence, but the majority of grades is based on hard work and dedication. For students, doing extra credit assignments not only show resilience and commitment, but it also says a lot about one’s character. So next time a professor offers an extra credit assignment, no matter how silly it may be, go the extra mile to secure the extra credit.