Skipping Class: Where’s the cents in that?

By Chelsea Vitone

The clock is nearing midnight and you still haven’t finished the assignment due for your 8:00 a.m. class. You seriously consider skipping class and pick up at the next one, but there are a couple of important things to think about namely dollars and cents.

Some students, like Student Activities Board (SAB) School Spirit & Traditions Coordinator, Kimerly Koy, would only miss class for good reasons, like family emergencies or if “you’re not well enough to function in class,” but not everyone has that perspective, and the alternative can be an expensive way to think.

Undergraduate in-state tuition for a full course load (10-18 credits) during one quarter at UWT is $3,968 and out of state is $10,493. Autumn quarter spans from September 25 to December 6, which is 41 days of instruction for a 4 day school week.

Doing the math, that is $96.78 per day for a resident and $255.93 per day for a non-resident.

It may be easy to slip into the comfortable routine of coming to class, listening to an hour lecture, taking a ten minute break, and then reconvening for another hour. How often does the dollar breakdown run across your mind?

Outreach Coordinator for the SAB, Puni Alafaio, admits that he is more likely to skip lecture days since his professor makes the PowerPoint available online, but when put in terms of spending almost $97 to read a PowerPoint slideshow at home, he says “[i]t makes you want to go to class.

On the other hand, time spent in class can feel like money down the drain as well. Those 30 minutes of a painful presentation you had to sit through just cost $23.60.  That’s four five-dollar footlongs from Subway! Think twice before you celebrate movie day in class as well – the average movie time runs about 1.5 hours, so UWT presents, for your viewing pleasure, a movie you’ve probably already seen for the low price of $70.91.

These numbers are calculated using undergrad tuition rates, but graduate school is even more expensive. Missing a 7-18 credit day can run anywhere between $120.39 to $163.73 depending on the program, not to mention specialty programs like our own Lukas Grove’s Master’s of Cybersecurity and Leadership. This program runs five quarters throughout the year, each with two classes that run for eight weeks. Students from the program have two classes a week that run four hours long. They pay $5,000 for each quarter, which equals $20,000 total.  If someone were to miss two classes that is $500!

Next time you think of missing class, consider not only the academic cost, but the financial cost as well.