The cost of cutting class: why your dollars go down the drain when you skip

Cassidy Alexander

Video by Brittany Moore
The student who’s skipping class is not easy to spot. Often, this is because the student is not on campus, enjoying a day elsewhere or even sleeping the day away. Sometimes, they’re in the library, indiscernible from the other studying students, silently and frantically trying to catch up on the work they got behind on. Sometimes, they’re eating lunch at the next table, happy to be missing out on a lecture.

However, choosing not to go to class has a price.

With tuition as it is now, during a 16-week course that meets twice a week, each individual class session costs $20. For a 16-week course that meets once a week, each class costs $40.

In the beginning of the semester, students are effectively pre-paying for all of these classes, but still choose to skip for a variety of reasons.

Maria Powell, nutrition and dietetics junior, said she usually skips class if she’s tired.

“Usually I don’t ever really skip class but this semester I’ve had a lot going on,” Powell said. “If I don’t have to go, I don’t go, but a lot of my classes take attendance.”

Communication junior Andre Roman said that he only skips class if he’s sick. He speculates that others skip class for several reasons.

“Laziness, lack of interest, maybe if the attendance isn’t mandatory,” said Roman.  “I think [some students] kinda don’t really feel obligated to attend class.”

Other students may skip class to finish work they got behind on, or to do something else they think is more important.

Students sometimes snooze through class. But what is it costing them? Photo by Cassidy Alexander
Students sometimes snooze through class. But what is it costing them?
Photo by Cassidy Alexander

When asked if knowing the cost of each class makes a difference in the decision to skip, students had mixed feelings.

“It’ll make a difference, those $20,” Roman said. “I’m pretty sure if you tell people that they’d be like ‘alright I’m never skipping class again.’”

Powell said that knowing that each class costs $20 may or may not affect her decision to skip.

“It’s not good to do but sometimes you need a day off,” Powell said. “Since we’re paying for college it’s not really practical to skip class, or if you need it, but if you can make it without it go ahead, then I guess go ahead. Do what you do.”

While the cutting class may end up costing students in missed material and make-up work as well as dollars, it’s ultimately a decision that students must make for themselves.

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