Of my 14 honors ethics students, 10 turned in papers on the due date...
One of those who turned it in on time had asked for an extension. She said her life was getting crazier and her grown children were in hot water. I told her that the standard extension was until the next class meeting and a 5 point penalty. She decided to just get the paper done and have it over... When she turned it in, she told me she'd spent time in the library to, in essence, hide from her kids while writing the paper. She was really proud to have made the deadline in spite of her challenges at home. I was proud of her.
Three of my extensions were for basic disorganization. They had partial papers but didn't want to turn them in incomplete and needed some extra time. A 10% penalty on a draft isn't a huge deal and I'm sure the comments they'll get will help their final grade to be better.
One extension I didn't assess a penalty for... She's told me all semester about her marital problems. To say he's made her life difficult is a significant understatement. Last time we spoke, she was formulating a plan to get a certificate in something and get a job so she could support herself and her son.
Her teenaged son was giving her a hard time and telling her to just ignore the husband. The son didn't want to move out of their nice house and away from the toys and friends he has... She saw her husband turning her son against her -- and toward the twisted values of his family.
Over the weekend she had to leave because she feared for her life. As of Monday, she had finally landed with a friend who was willing to accept the risk of an irate husband. She commented on how hard it was to write a philosophy paper in the shelter over the weekend, but now she and her son are very happy to be living anyplace that doesn't include the husband.
This student sees that education is her only hope. When I wonder why I teach at BNCC, she is the reason.