In "Grades and Money,” Steven Vogel discusses the relationship between money and grades. He argues that students are only interested in getting good grades rather than learning. He says that most of the students have created a direct relationship between grades and money. They believe that good grades create opportunities to get more money than poor grades. Steven Vogel presents a great piece of work because everything follows from the central thesis. The author successfully directs the value of education from the importance of good grades to making money. It is to this regard that students strive to get good grades so as to have a good income. The author even says “We let grades count as money--we let education count as money--because money, nowadays, is the only value we know” (Vogel 446). It is indeed true to say that money has influence on student performance because most of the employers reward their employees based on performance. This therefore serves as an indicator that financial aid and scholarships should be linked to a student’s grades.
Society has put great emphasis on learning and making the best out of it. this is the sole reason why many students go to school. Otherwise if they had been given a choice no one could be in school.
Those who perform better are father encouraged to do so by society giving them incentives like money just like Vogel says. There is always a promise of scholarships to continue studying if only students perform well. This then serves as the motivator for them to work hard at school. These scholarships help students’ access higher education almost for free because they pay less or no money at all. This then means that the problem of money will always be sorted out when it comes to tuition fee. One will find that students from needy families have this as the only sure short cut to higher education because they know they cannot afford it if they were to cater for their tuition fee.
When students are asked why they work hard in school many respond that it is because they need to get a high grade point average. This is the point that will determine the courses and careers that they will want to venture into. When we look at the whole subject that Vogel delves to address, this turns out to be the whole issue that grades are for money and money is for the grades. Upon completion of high school education and acquiring good grades, a student will be better placed to get sponsored to take up some of the best career opportunities available for them. This will in the long run translate into getting a good job that pays very well. This will then ensure that a person leads a comfortable life because this will mean that they will earn well to take care of their bills without too much struggling. Good grades will mean that one goes on to study what they want so as to get the best job offers out there and this will mean that they will lead a good life. This proves Vogel’s assumptions right.
It is good to recognize the fact that students need to be given incentives in order to perform well in their academics. Giving them things like scholarships will go a long way into contributing to what these students will become in the future. Such incentives will make them work hard in order to be rewarded. But even so, chances are that these students will forget the essence of learning which is to become knowledgeable. They will put much focus on the tangible goal and forget that knowledge is more powerful that the monetary value that education has been given. This is the main point that Vogel seeks to remind the stakeholders. It is therefore good to consider the fact that students that perform well should be given financial aid to further their studies. These are students who are well endowed academically but cannot afford the more expensive higher education.
In my opinion, the writer offers new understandings into how far money has taken over the valuation of things in life. While the paper focuses on the value of money to university students, the conclusion introduces the idea that money is nowadays “the only value we know.” This opens the eyes of the reader because it moves him from the narrow corridor of education to an open field. This article is a good read because of a number of factors. First of all, the writer uses very strong evidence to support his arguments. For instance, he mentions President Clinton’s proposal to support the argument that people have shifted their focus from learning towards grades. Secondly, the author is writing from a firsthand point of view because he is an experienced scholar. These two factors give the paper a lot of validity something that makes reading the article a very interesting experience.
Vogel, Steven. Grades and Money. Dissent 44:445-448.