How much money are your classes worth?

Think twice before skipping


(Collegian file photo)

By Nell Mancini, Collegian Columnist

Every time I sit in the back of a lecture and look around at the open laptops around the dark room, I notice something similar each time. A good majority of the people (often including me, honestly) are scrolling through social media, email or doing anything but taking notes. We have all heard the saying “time is money,” and this applies to classes too. I think everyone can relate to that feeling of wanting to do anything but go to class or sit through a lecture. Attending the same lecture week after week and hearing information that bores us half to sleep is draining, but we are still paying for those classes. Even if it is a professor we like or a class on an interesting topic, we can easily zone out. In times of stress, even our favorite subjects might feel like a burden.

However, while it may seem some classes can be the bane of our existence, skipping them is actually costing you money.

At the University of Massachusetts, students who are in-state pay $15,888 a year in tuition alone. This number does not account for the thousands of dollars some of us spend of textbooks, iClickers and whatever else you may need for classes. If you do not pay attention in a class, or skip it all together, you are essentially wasting some of that money you paid just to be able to go to that lecture. Sometimes, doing anything but listening to your professor sounds like the best thing in the world, but we do not realize how much money we are throwing away by simply not paying attention. If you go to class but do not listen or absorb any of the information, you wasted your time. Not listening in class or skipping a class are not going to help you whatsoever when it comes time to take your final.

Most people take four or five classes a semester to graduate in four years. So, let’s use a four-class schedule as an example. Say you wanted to skip your lecture for a class that meets twice a week, Monday and Wednesday. You have each day’s schedule 13 times this semester, so that means you have 26 lectures for this particular class in total. To simplify this, let us round your tuition money to $14,500 a year, that divides into $7,250 a semester. If you are taking four classes, that means you are essentially paying $1,812 for each class. So, if that class meets 26 times a semester, you are paying about $70 per class, and if you skip that class you are essentially wasting $70. College students constantly worry about money; how much money they will have for food, clothes or other expenses. Little do people know they are wasting $70 a class if they skip.

We all have the urge to skip class at some point in our academic career. We have all been distracted by our laptops while a lecture drones on, wishing we were anywhere else in the world. Nevertheless, just because you hate that class, this does not mean you are not losing something by skipping or zoning out. You are throwing away money you or your parents are paying for your education, invested in you, so you can go to class and get an education. You also run the risk of missing out on the opportunity to learn some new information. You also may just miss something that will appear on that dreaded final at the end of the semester. The moral of the story is that you would not just throw $70 away, so don’t do just that by not going to class.

Nell Mancini is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at [email protected]