Due to the COVID situation our lab course only allows one of two students in a partnership to run an experiment during a session while the other observes via Zoom. I can't make it to the next session so I asked my lab partner to go. It turns out that my lab partner is dropping the course and going to run the experiment anyway presumably just to help me out.

I just met the guy and that's such a kind gesture that I want to show him my gratitude by mailing him a gift card or something. My concern, however, is that this might be dangerously close to paying someone to do my schoolwork. Is it potentially against university policy to show my gratitude with a gift?

Edit: We're in the United States.

  • Does your university policy say anything about this?
    – user111388
    Sep 5, 2020 at 9:59

1 Answer 1


A low-value gift card doesn't adequately compensate the work, so there's no perception of paying someone to do [your] schoolwork. (I can't comment on whether it is against your university's policies, that's off-topic here anyhow.)

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