If Your College Roommate Dies, Do You Get a 4.0?

Male college student checking results posted on bulletin board, rear view
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From urban legend to people claiming they know someone to whom it happened, the rumor that you automatically get a 4.0 in college if your roommate dies is a story that never seems to go away. But is there any truth behind such a long-lived legend?

In a word: No. If something unfortunate were to happen to your roommate, you would likely be given a bit of understanding and flexibility with your academic requirements. You would not, however, automatically be given a 4.0-grade point average for the term.

Perfect GPAs are quite rare in college and are not just handed out because a person has experienced personal stress (from a deceased roommate or any other factor). In college, too, each student is held accountable for their own individual choices and circumstances. So even if you were to experience the worst-case-scenario when it came to your roommate, your own college life would not automatically benefit from it. Could you perhaps be given extensions on papers or exams or even an Incomplete in the class? Of course. But being given an automatic grade point average is highly unlikely, if not impossible. All of which, at the end of the day, is probably good news for you -- and your roommate.