George W. Bush graduated from Yale in 1968 with a C+ average (source: CBS News). How might he have done today?
The July/August 2013 Yale Alumni Magazine points out that “Sixty-two percent of all grades awarded by Yale College in the spring of 2012 were As or A-minuses. Comparing that with 50 years ago, when only ten percent were in the A range, some faculty believe Yale has a grade-inflation problem.”
Perhaps Yale students today are simply better prepared due to the increased competitiveness of getting into an elite school (larger and more mobile world population; women now eligible for admission; roughly same number of slots). Or maybe Yale students spend more time studying than did their counterparts in the 1960s, contrary to the conclusions reached by Babcock and Marks in http://www.nber.org/papers/w15954.pdf (“Using multiple datasets from different time periods, we document declines in academic time investment by full-time college students in the United States between 1961 and 2003. Full-time students allocated 40 hours per week toward class and studying in 1961, whereas by 2003 they were investing about 27 hours per week. Declines were extremely broad-based, and are not easily accounted for by framing effects, work or major choices, or compositional changes in students or schools. We conclude that there have been substantial changes over time in the quantity or manner of human capital production on college campuses.”)