Should Teachers accept late work?

In many colleges, submitting their assignments or coming late is common among its students. Not all students are capable of finishing their assignments on time. It is not like they do not wish to do it. There could be several genuine reasons for not submitting it on time. Therefore, should a student be penalized for late submission even if the assignment is completed satisfactorily? We will detect the answer to this question.

Quick Takeaways

  • You should penalize your students if you do not find genuine reasons for late submissions. However, if the reasons are genuine then you must accept the late work.
  • Following are the reasons why should you not penalise your students for late submissions-
1. Your students are humans as well
2. To motivate the students
3. Makes them practice
4. Getting zeros may discourage your students

However, you must read till the end so that you get a better understanding of if you should accept the late submission.

Should Teachers accept late work? - Should Students be penalized for late homework?

Should Teachers accept late work? – Should Students be penalized for late homework?

You should penalize your students if you do not find genuine reasons for late submissions. But if they have genuine reasons then you must not penalize them. Also if your students are submitting their assignments after 1-2 months, then you have the right to punish them. But before penalizing your students you must consider why they were not able to submit it and then make a decision. Further, if you are a college professor, you must know that there is a high amount of college homework that may student find a heavy workload. In such a case, you may think of accepting the homework.

Advantages of accepting late submission

Let us see the advantages of accepting late submissions by students.

1. Promote responsibility

When your students take ownership of their learning, they are more likely to be enthusiastic about it. This enthusiasm develops into a sense of responsibility for completing the work. It will also help your students to get interested in the upcoming assignments.

2. Maximize their efficiency

Your students will put in a lot of effort and time when they know they do not need to submit their assignments on the deadlines. They know if they submit it late it will not affect their grades. It will also help to maximize their efficiency.

3. Increasing completion rate

When your students know that they can give their homework even after the deadline, the rate of completion will automatically increase. Almost every student of you will complete their work and submit it.

Should Teachers accept late work? - Should Students be penalized for late homework?

Disadvantages of accepting late submission

Every single thing on this planet has its benefits and drawbacks. Let us now see some of the disadvantages of accepting late submissions-

1. Promote laziness

One of the biggest drawbacks of accepting late submissions is that it may promote laziness. Many students, will keep the completion of their work postponed. This will make them lazy and will result in postponing the completion of their work.

2. Promote lying 

When students know that you are accepting late submissions, they might start lying to you. They will give fake excuses several times and will get on the safer side. 

3. Inconvenience for you

When your students submit a late submission it will also cause inconvenience for you. As a professor, there are several other things that you need to do. Late submissions will add to your work. This will result in a burden for you as well.   

4. Assignments may lose the value

If your students delay the submission very long, it may be of no fun. You may be just about to complete the next topic when they are submitting their assignments. There is no fun in accepting it and correcting it. 

Reasons to accept late submission

There are various causes for which you should accept late submission-

1. Your students are humans as well

The situation of all your students will never be the same. Some of them may be very intelligent and may need less time and others may be average and need more time. Students are also humans and may be facing different challenges.

Should Teachers accept late work? - Should Students be penalized for late homework?

You being a professor only knows their life as a student, but you are not aware of their problems. They might have a lot of mental stress because of their home environment. Therefore, you should accept late submissions, especially when their reasons are genuine. 

2. To motivate the students

When you accept late submissions from the students it also motivates them to complete their work with full concentration. Accepting late submissions from students who are going through stress, also helps them feel better and motivated. You may be taking your classes online which is a new scenario for your students. Thus, before giving them any of the assignments try to help them with the virtual learning tips.

3. Makes them practice

Many students will submit their incomplete or wrong assignments to you, just because of the fear of not accepting late submissions. But if they know that they won’t be penalized by you, then they will practice more till their assignment gets completed and is perfect.

4. Getting zeros may discourage your students

Remember when you were a kid, how sad and demotivated you feel when you get zero? Now think about when you do not take late submissions and give zero to your students and how demotivated they can feel at that time. Therefore, you must accept late submissions.

Should Teachers accept late work? - Should Students be penalized for late homework?

Reasons for not accepting late submissions

Let us also see what are the reasons for not accepting the late work-

1. Making them ready to deal with the real world

When your students will go into the real world they will need to complete their tasks on tight deadlines. Even when they are going for a job, or some other kind of task they will be bounded by strict deadlines. This is one of the biggest reasons you should not accept their late submission. By not accepting their late work, you will make them work under given specific deadlines.

2. To create fairness among the students

It may become unfair for the students who have to submit their assignments to you on time. However, if there was a genuine reason then you must accept it.

3. May promote laziness

As discussed earlier when we accept late submissions it causes laziness among the students. According, they may not do their work sincerely and would start delaying their work. 

Do teachers accept late work?

Every teacher has his/her own opinion. Some might accept late submissions whereas others may not. If your student’s reason is genuine then you might accept your work. Also, some instructors may give their students some extra time like 2-3 days to complete their work. But it again depends on what was the reason. If you think that the reason is not genuine but the work is properly completed you can accept the assignment with half a grade. Thus if your reason was genuine, ask for an appointment and tell them the reason.


As a teacher, you have to deal with late submissions a lot. You may also wonder should you accept it or not. Being a teacher you must see the student side as well. According to me, you should accept it, if the reason of your student is genuine. But if the reason is not genuine then you should not accept it. This will accept the habit of lying to the students

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