New system is a problem in disguise

Juggling the many aspects of college life can be a difficult game that at times seems downright impossible. Were you up all night frantically studying for an exam in a class you don’t like and never read the material for? Move back two spaces. Did you put off a project until the last minute? Skip a turn.

It shouldn’t happen, but it does. Sometimes, you just need a second chance. This is where freshman forgiveness comes in — it’s your one-time-only “get out of jail free” card. If a freshman receives a C- or lower in any lower-level class, he or she can retake it before the completion of 60 credit hours for a grade replacement, no questions asked.

At least, that used to be the way the game worked. Next semester, any student can retake any lower-level class as many times as he or she wants, regardless of the grade received the first time around. That’s right, an unlimited supply of “get out of jail free” cards for all.

Now, it would be easy to look at the new system and think it makes the game more fair. But look a little deeper.

First think of the cost. For an undergraduate resident of Ohio, each credit hour this semester cost $384. That means each course worth three credit hours cost $1,152. Taking the class twice comes to $2,304. Many student loan interest rates are at about 7 percent, which means if you take a class twice and add interest, you’re actually paying $2,465.28 for a class that should have cost $1,232.64.

Next, think about that fact that you are not only charging yourself twice the cost of a single course, you’re also delaying your degree. Retaking even two classes prevents you from taking new classes and moving closer to graduation, hypothetically keeping you here longer.

Then think about the effect this new system has on others. Some courses are in such high demand they have waitlists and meet in rooms that are close to, or over, occupancy limits. Allowing students to retake such classes as often as they like could push those further down on the food chain (a.k.a. underclassmen) onto said waitlists, postponing their completion of the course. This will push students trying to take the class for the first time of the list in favor of someone taking it for the second or third time.

Finally, remember what you are here for. College is practice for the real world, where you don’t get second chances or “get out of jail free” cards. One second chance is enough. If we are given any more, we won’t be ready for a boss who won’t have the patience for a college grad who needs hand-holding.

What happened to perseverance or of trying your best and getting it right the first time? Even if you don’t take advantage of the new system, the Kent State on the top of your diploma will forever be associated with it. We’re disappointed that the university would put the value of our degrees in jeopardy for the sake of retention rates, or worse, because of the Banner system requirements.

There’s something to be said for being flexible and understanding of the many stresses students have to deal with, but handing out unlimited second chances as a remedy is just unacceptable.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.