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Cutting class can have unexpected costs, two students at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya have found.

At the start of a recent class in administrative law, one of the students signed in her friend on an attendance sheet even though the friend wasn't in class yet.

The student disciplinary committee at the college has fined each student NIS 1,000 and ordered each to do 100 hours of community service. They will be placed on academic parole: If either commits any other infraction that entails dishonesty at any time within the next three years she will be barred from the campus for two years.

The students were also ordered to apologize to the teacher, which they had already done.

Other IDC students said it was common practice for students to sign each other into class. They said the women, both of whom are majoring in law and business administration, were being punished excessively in order to serve as an example.

But IDC Herzliya said the severity of the punishment was warranted.

"The Interdisciplinary Center puts an emphasis on values like integrity, out of a belief that its graduates will remain in important positions in Israeli society," the school said in a statement. "All punishments are carried out through an organized disciplinary proceeding, in accordance with the disciplinary regulations of the center, and the students in this case were punished primarily through community service."

The second-year students were discovered to have violated the attendance sheet infraction when the second came to class more than 15 minutes late and was not allowed in.

At the end of class the lecturer checked the attendance list and saw that she was signed in anyway. The students apologized.

The disciplinary committee said the incident should be taken particularly seriously because as law students the sophomores "are supposed to honor and serve the rule of law in the course of their professional careers."

Signing in a fellow student is not the only seemingly minor violation for which IDC students can be fined.

Under the school's disciplinary guidelines, students can be fined NIS 100 for eating or drinking in class or smoking in a nonsmoking area. They could be forced to pony up NIS 350 for using a cell phone in class or in the library.

And then there are the tuition fees, of course. The private college charges NIS 37,000 a year.