(Go to) Class Investment

A student of mine missed class last week. After some checking, I found that a family emergency resulted in his missing at least two days of classes. And this was just the second week of the semester.

Lynn O’Shaughnessy discussed the phenomenon of students voluntarily missing class and featured the Skip Class Calculator on her blog. The calculator helps a student determine the cost of missing a class based upon class meetings per week, attendance history, and upcoming exams. A cursory glance at the Skip Class tool found one factor missing; the money invested in missing a class.

Running an estimate based on the full-time cost of attendance at our university, an in-state resident student invests $53 to attend an hour of class. For non-resident students, the amount increases to $86 an hour. Miss 10% of classes for a semester and a student can easily waste a grand or more.

At an institution where student loan debt at graduation is among the highest in the nation and as electronic course attendance systems become commonplace on college campuses, skipping class is pouring money down the drain.

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