Should Students be Compensated for Canceled Classes?

TYLER TYACK, Staff Writer

When it’s eight in the morning on a Monday and you’re rushing to get to class, you have a lot on your mind. Do you have the paper that you were working on until midnight? Do you have your Scantron? Was that test today? Lots of questions, and the relief you feel when you see the sign on the door that your class was canceled is overwhelming. Many of us would simply thank fate for this chance, then go back to bed and sleep until our next class, yet this is overlooking a somewhat crucial aspect of the event; money.

Whether or not you had class, you still paid for it. Let’s break it down by the numbers. For an out of state student taking a one hour course pays $589.27 in tuition, according to the Bursar’s office. This sum is without the addition of mandatory student fees. Say it meets three times a week, so barring holidays, the class meets fifty times a semester. You can get a rough estimate at the cost per meeting by dividing $589.27 by fifty, giving you a total of $11.79. Not too bad, but if class is cancelled, you still pay eleven dollars for nothing.

Now let’s get really technical. An out of state student is taking 16 credit hours of classes. For this example, we’ll include the mandatory fees in the total. So 16 hours plus fees for an out of state student is $9,576.05. Take this total and divide it by six, and you get $1596 per course. If we stick with the course meeting three times a week, fifty meetings total, we can then see the total cost per class. $1596 divided by fifty gives us $31.92 per meeting!

So if a class is canceled, you wasted thirty two dollars. You don’t get that back, it’s gone. What could you have done with that money? Well you could have filled your car with gas, gone to dinner and a movie, or just use it for general spending. Yet you can’t, it’s gone.

Now yes, those numbers are high, after all they are for the out of state student. So let’s look at the same examples given above for an in state student. Without mandatory fees, a class that meets three times a week will cost $3.24. Not bad, but with fees and a 16 hour course load that number rises to ten dollars a meeting. Still not the end of the world, but this is only for a class that meets three times a week.

Freshman seminar courses meet once a week. In total, an in state student would pay for seventeen meetings a semester. So with mandatory fees, a single freshman seminar class costs $31.04. In the same instance for an out of state student, a single meeting costs $93.88. That’s a lot, but it is honestly worth coming from out of state for it.

My point here is that, hey, life happens. Even teachers get sick, I know this(both sets of my grandparents were teachers). If the student blows off coming to class, that’s there own fault. And no, I would not expect the student to be reimbursed if they were sick, that’s just life. However, when a student has done their due diligence and showed up to class only to find a cancellation notice on the door, they shouldn’t be charged for it.

Think about this, if you pay for a cable movie bundle that includes HBO, Starz, and Showtime, you expect that you’ll get what you paid for. If halfway through your subscription, HBO has some kind of technical trouble that knocks it off the air, my first call would be to Comcast and demand a reduction of my bill. If you pay for a service and don’t receive it, you should get your money back. There are infinite, real world examples out there, so why should College Education be any different?

So ask yourself; the money I spent to have my class cancelled, what could I have done with it instead?