What will skipping class cost you?

By Ian Rodgers

We go to school in arguably one of the most beautiful places in the country. Our campus was recently ranked No. 27 most beautiful campus in the nation on BuzzFeed.

The beach is a quick drive from campus and apart from that, there are countless attractions within mere miles that are sure to be more exciting than sitting in a classroom all day. Downtown San Diego offers professional sports games including baseball and football and if that’s not what you are into, there is always the San Diego Zoo, Sea World and the Wild Animal Park.

So what is the big deal with skipping a class here and there, getting some much-needed rest or enjoying a sunny day in the sand?

As the semester goes on, it will become increasingly more tempting to simply skip class. You may be feeling sick, tired after a long night studying or participating in some other extracurricular activities or simply lacking the motivation to go to class. As students become upperclassmen and move off campus, typically down to the beaches, it makes it even harder to leave home just to come to school, especially for one class.

But did you ever stop to think about the true cost of missing a class?

For full-time students, tuition costs a flat rate of $19,743 per semester. The average student typically takes 15 credit hours per semester, or five three-credit classes apiece. Let’s do the math. Say you are taking a morning class on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and you just can’t drag yourself out of bed. Been there, done that. What you probably aren’t thinking about under the blankets, however, is that that extra hour of sleep is costing you $141 per class. Sleeping through a class a month might cost you upward of $450.

Senior Gracie Felton gives a different perspective on what students are truly paying for with their tuition.

“I feel like I am paying for my overall grade in the class, not for each class itself,” Felton said.

Many students do agree with Felton’s views; they are paying for the overall course and the education they receive throughout the semester and not each individual class. With this in mind, an extra hour of sleep in the morning or a zoo adventure in the afternoon doesn’t necessarily cost an excessive amount. That is, as long as your grade and the amount you learn throughout the semester doesn’t suffer.
Terry Bird, a professor in the biology department, wants students to know that the cost of skipping a class can be more than the lost tuition money.

“Over the years, I have found that missing class does have a cost in terms of the class grade as well,” Bird said. “A lot of students feel that getting good notes or the lecture slides can make up for skipping class. The issue for me, though, is that synthesizing and understanding the facts takes more than reading over a friend’s notes. It takes asking questions and being stimulated by the lecture. That’s what puts you in a framework of understanding.

It’s obvious that both students and professors have different ideas about what tuition actually pays for, what it actually costs when you skip a class. No matter what you think, it is much more important to simply stop and think: what does it cost to skip a class for you?