“I already understand what the professor is going over today.”
“Kohl’s has a sale today.”
“Attendance doesn’t count towards my grade.”
“My boss offered me an extra shift.”
“I have to finish an assignment for another class, so I can’t make it.”
These are all excuses, but they aren’t valid excuses to skip class. For obvious reasons, skipping class is not the best plan for success in college. The primary purpose of going to college is to get an education. College students pay the university, who pays professors, to give us an education. Professors give us an education by offering classes. Simply put, not going to class is not receiving the education that you are paying for.
For in-state residents, the cost of one credit is $241. For a three-credit class, throughout the semester the class meets for a total of 40 hours, usually 50 minutes three times a week. That three-credit class will cost $723. Breaking that down that’s $15 every time the class meets ($723/48 classes). If a three-credit class only meets twice a week, that raises the cost of cancelling the class to $22.50. Finally, if a three-credit class only meets once a week, that reaches a cost of $45.
In today’s world, $15 may not seem like a lot; some may look at $15 and see a meal at an average priced restaurant. As a working student making slightly above minimum wage (which is $9.65/hour), $15 is as an extra two hours of work once taxes get taken out. Two hours of work is worth 50 minutes of instruction time. If you disagree with this, then you shouldn’t be paying for it.
An article from USA Today, lays out the cost of skipping class:
And the cost of skipping class adds up quickly. According to the most recent survey by Class120, which came out in 2015, the average college student skips 240 classes by the time he or she graduates. For students at an in-state public university this adds up to $7,200 of wasted tuition money over the course of four years, and $24,960 for students at private schools.
Besides the financial cost of skipping class, you miss out on important information. For those of you who argue that you already know the information, you likely don’t know how the professor presents it. Whether this comes to you as a surprise or not, your professor writes your test. And again, shocker, but your professor will likely grade your assignments the way they view the concepts.
Another loss of skipping class is you miss the opportunity to converse (and dare I say network) with your peers. By your junior year, if not your sophomore year, you pretty much just have classes with people in the same major as you. In just a few short years, those same classmates you have now will become your colleagues. Colleagues whom you work with, attend conferences with, will help and receive help from. Reflect for a moment and think of your classmates like your coworkers. Would you rather have a coworker who shows up everyday or a coworker who shows up when it is convenient for them? Likely, you chose the coworker who shows up everyday. Be the classmate who shows up everyday. As parents of K-12 students say, school is your job. Those of you who have a job, you would never think of skipping a shift as easily as some of you skip class.
With these things in mind, there are some legit reasons for skipping class. Medical emergencies and funerals, for example, are legitimate reasons for skipping class. Being tired, believing you already know the material are not reasons for skipping class.
Please go to class, going to class (and doing the work) will give you the education you are paying so much for. Going to class will present you new information in new ways, expanding your vision and will provide free networking.
Get to class. Invest in yourself and your future self will thank you.
Anna is a junior at St. Cloud State University and is double majoring in Math Education and Spanish Education, with a minor in Special Education. She is the Managing Editor for the University Chronicle this year. When she is not at campus attending class, working as a learning assistant or math tutor, or writing for the University Chronicle, she enjoys volunteering, reading, being overly competitive at board games, and telling horribly funny puns.