As I am now in my final year of high school I realize that a student’s main goal in today’s education system is to get high marks and get into the program and university of their choice. While personally, my marks are quite excellent – in fact, they are better than most – I realize that I do not have high enough grades to be accepted into my first choice university. These marks are the only thing standing between me and the post-secondary education I desire. Now I could, as many choose to do, attend a private school in the evenings in order to ameliorate my marks by retaking a few courses. Essentially, I would be paying hundreds of dollars for a course that is much simpler than one I would take in a regular school, and because of this I would get into the university program of my choice. However, this is an option I choose not to take, not because this path had a high cost, but being this path is an unethical one.
Students should not have the ability to pay money in order to make it easier for them to earn credits and higher grades. While it is beneficial to the students who partake in these programs, it has a negative impact on students who chose to work for their grades, as well as society as a whole.
Today, the education system in Ontario is in shambles. Our public schools are overcrowded and underfunded, and many students turn to the numerous private schools who will essentially sell top-notch marks to the highest bidder. These private schools make it very simple to obtain high marks in courses, and don’t even make the students work to earn academic success. These schools, nicknamed “credit mills”, are very beneficial to the students who chose to enroll in these programs. For a relatively small fee, they are able to forgo the stress and long hours which it normally takes to succeed in a course, all while achieving a better end result than those who’ve chosen to weather the storm of academic merit. By giving the students a much easier course, they make it easier for financially well off and morally bankrupt to get into the university programs of their choice. The students have an incentive to shell out money, and line the pockets of those who run these private schools. These students choose to spend their time on other endeavors they deem more important than academics and in effect are allowed more free time to advance themselves that the students in public school as they do not have the constraints given by tests and deadlines.
The use of credit mills to boost up marks in exchange for cash hurts the education system as well as the students who are a part of it. The education system’s allowance of these credit mills to exist communicates a message that they condone the cheapening of hard work, further dragging the decent name of public schools through the mud . The use of credit mills also hurts the students who choose to work for their grades. Students who choose to work for their grades must attend more classes, write more examinations and assessments and put in countless more hours per class than students who attend credit mills. After putting in all this extra effort, a student may still wind up with lower marks than someone who simply paid for their grade, which puts them at a disadvantage when it comes time to apply for universities and scholarships. Credit mills devalue hard work, and by allowing students to pay for grades we are telling them it is acceptable to not put in the required effort so long as you, or in most cases your parents, can afford to pay for your marks.
Credit mills also have a negative effect on society as a whole. By allowing students to pay for credits and grades, we are demonstrating the low value of hard work and the high value placed on buying what it is you want. By allowing students to pay for credits and grades, we are sometimes allowing less intelligent, less qualified, and morally questionable people rise up over those who work hard and are dedicated, which means that the professionals of tomorrow will often be less qualified than those who would have gotten in to the university programs based on merit. As a society which tries to instill the values of hard work, dedication, and integrity into our youth, how can we also allow members of society to do better simply because they are willing to pay more?
While paying for credits and higher marks sure makes things a lot easier for someone like me who would rather pay a bit of money than suffer through the inconvenience of having to work, students should not have the ability to do so. Due to this, private schools offering grades for a fee, also known as credit mills, should not be permitted to exist. They devalue the hard work of the majority of students and have a negative impact on our society. Paying for marks is wrong.