Pay for Grade

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Illustration by Philip Kuhns

I paid $22.65 to get attendance points in an English class last Thursday.

For this particular class, we were required to attend one of the events held at USI for Nelson Mandela Commemoration Day. Unfortunately, every single event conflicted with other classes, organizations or my job.

My only option was to ask off of work to go to a guest lecture, get somebody to sign my elementary school ‘esque slip and then write about what I had learned.

Honestly, I could have gotten on YouTube and watched one of the 103,000 videos that come up when you search “Tim Wise.”

But, ever the good kid, I couldn’t make myself lie about going to an event. That, and I needed a faculty member to sign that I had been there.

I gave up some of my paycheck to get a good grade in a class that isn’t even worth the money I spent to be in it. Granted, I only make a little more than minimum wage, so the $7.55 an hour isn’t the biggest loss, but the point still remains – money is money.

I already paid almost $700 to be in an English class that is basically high school American History all over again.

I’m a full-time college student who works part-time and is involved in several different campus organizations. I don’t really have any money or time to spare.

The same goes for classes that require you to watch and respond to a university play. You might as well hand your professor the $7 it costs to attend a play rather than go to the play and turn in a half-assed essay about it.

Students shouldn’t have to lose money from a paycheck or shell out money to attend  events to get  a good grade in an already costly class.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying, “woe is me, my life is so difficult,” but I am saying  I think it is unfair for a class to require students to attend an event that is not being held during the class’s scheduled time.

Yes, the Tim Wise keynote speech was enriching, but it wasn’t worth the money I lost not working. School is a priority, but it shouldn’t take over my entire life.

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