Should Class Attendance Be Mandatory?

Picture it. An individual, let’s call them Anna, is sound asleep in her college dorm room when suddenly that all too familiar sound of her annoying alarm clock sitting near her bed wakes her up from her sleep. She hits snooze and debates if she should roll out of bed and get to class or if she should sleep in and skip.

Anna decides to stay in bed and miss a day of college. Little does she know, this can impact her education. Skipping class can have some harmful effects. It is important to understand the consequences of skipping a school day because this is an a great way to gain additional knowledge that will be essential to the future. Most students skip class because they want to hang with friends, are too tired, or they didn’t “feel like it.” Usually when this happens they will text and friend and ask, “Did we do anything in class? Did I miss anything important?” Their friend will respond with “No not really,” that is unless they actually did do something.

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However that is not my point. My point is chances are the professor actually gave a lesson instead of just staring blankly at the class. Of course, looking at notes is always an option, but the best way to get the most information as possible is to actually attend class and listen. I’m not saying I agree with attendance being mandatory but I believe that there should be a good balance of both sides. Sometimes I wake up in the morning wishing I wouldn’t have to go to school, but I go anyways because I know that it will be better for me in the long run. Rachel Osman wrote an article about college attendance on USA Today College on the 25th of March, 2012.

Two students and one professor shared their thoughts on mandatory attendance. Sam Artley, who was a senior at Michigan State University, said that she does not agree the mandatory attendance policies unless there was lab work. Lab work is usually completed in class and little to none at home. However, she also noted that showing up to class is required in order to do well in a course. A professor at DePaul University named Kelli Marshall said that she does not enforce mandatory attendance policies but she is willing to help the students out who do choose to miss class with quizzes and discussion questions.

She doesn’t have to worry writing down who showed up to class or not and there is not struggle with students over unexcused or excused absences. The last one to give their opinion on attendance is Sarah Griffin. She was a sophomore at Indiana University and she believes that students should not be able to get away with a large amount of absences from class but having to show up to every class is limiting. Her last note said, “We’re adults, but still college students at the same time. Universities should have some regulation, but we should be primarily responsible for our own education and I think attendance policies should reflect that.” It is okay to skip if it is for a good reason.

Sometimes students can work really hard and just need to re-energize by taking a nap or such. College students have a lot of freedom and have to decide what to do with all that and taking a day for themselves can be a good thing. Another argument that is mentioned a lot is the whole money aspect. Why would someone skip class if they are paying for? I’m sure some people are a lot like me and will have to pay for their own college. I know I don’t want to lose money over a reason like playing video games.

According to EducationOnline the average cost for a year at a 4 year public college is $6,585. The average student is 15 hours out of class a week and a college quarter is 10 weeks long totaling to $219.50 so that comes out to be $14.63 per hour of class. If a person is going to skip class it better be worth at least $14.

Hopefully playing Xbox all day or taking a nap doesn’t seem like a good way to waste money. After an individual graduates from college they will receive their diploma. A recent study from Georgetown University discovered that college graduates earn $1 million more earnings than those who just graduated from high school. The median yearly income gap between college students and high school students is about $17,500. Think about how much better people could do financially if they showed up to class all the time, actually payed attention to lessons, received good grades, and graduated.

This does not count showing up to class to sleep, scroll through instagram, watching Youtube videos, or texting other people. Hard work is essential. In conclusion, I believe there needs to be a balance between attending class and skipping class. Having to show up to class everyday can seem very strict and not all students have it in them to do so. However, skipping class does have consequences.

Money can be lost and people can struggle learning wise making it slightly harder to graduate. This is important in the long run especially for earning more money. Being a college student offers a lot of freedom. Students get to make most of their choices and professors aren’t going to call parents anymore asking why their kid wasn’t in class. It is up to the students to make hopefully the right choices.

If able, make it to class because there is nothing to lose besides maybe a couple more hours of sleep or video games. In return, people will be gaining additional knowledge. On the other hand, college can tear down on people so if people are going to take a day off of college, they better make it $14 worth.