Skipping class results in negative financial impact

Sunny Kim

It can be easy to skip that 8 a.m. class when you’re feeling tired, or when you haven’t finished your readings and know that the discussion will focus on those specific assignments. Although students may try to go to class on a regular basis, sometimes they can lose track and let their desires get ahead of their responsibilities. However, falling behind on responsibilities can negatively impact students’ financial well-being.

At a university like UT, where the total number of students exceeds 50,000, it can be hard for professors to keep track of attendance. Most freshmen and sophomore level classes contain at least 100 people and can extend to 500 students per lecture. Because of these numbers, it would be impossible and inefficient to take attendance. However, students should go to class because it is crucial to their academic success.

Every time a student misses a class, they’re wasting approximately $22 worth of tuition money. If a regular student takes 15 hours a semester, and there are about 15 weeks of school per semester, their schedule comes out to a total of 45 hours per class. Tuition at UT for in-state students costs between $4,673 and $5,369 per semester. Ultimately, each three hour class would be worth between $935 and $1,074.

If you missed one hour of class, you would be wasting at least $22. With that money, you could buy five Java Chip Frappuccino drinks, 22 Kraft instant mac and cheese cups and 88 instant ramen noodle packets. Aside from the financial costs, they can also miss out on the learning process.

Students may say they don’t go to class because it’s not worth their time, or they are desperately in need of rest, but ultimately they would lose a chance to learn. It would be wasting money on vital instruction that was already paid for.

Associate anthropology professor Denne Reed argues attending class can connect the gaps in learning.

“Retention and comprehension are both tied to the number of times we encounter new information or concepts,” Reed said. “Hearing the content in lecture provides a key opportunity to learn the material, and to have it explained in a way that may be different than what is in the readings or other sources.”

Students who purposefully skip classes face negative consequences that will impact them in the long run. They lose money and miss out on the essential learning process, which can be hard to recover.

Journalism professor Tracy Dahlby emphasizes each lecture is essential to understanding the course.

“A class is a journey and it’s easy to lose direction,” Dahlby said. “But, if you miss too many classes, you miss the little picture and risk losing a grip on the big picture.”

Students should take advantage of the journeys and opportunities they’re given in their classes. When they don’t, they lose out financially and intellectually in return for simply a few hours of sleep.   

Kim is a journalism freshman from Austin.