A few ideas on this, which others with more knowledge than I have can
verfity or correct:
(1) The sacrifices, in addition to atoning for sins, represent the food of
the Kohanim (priests), who have no other share in the produce of the land.
Without sacrifices, the priests starve.
(2) Sacrifices elevate the eating of meat from an animal act to a spiritual
act. It also recognizes the need to kill so that one may live and that the
animal killed has lost its life for my benefit. Buying meat in a
supermarket today negates this and reduces the animal to a commodity, not a
creature created by Hashem. This also applies to Kashrut (Dietry Laws).
(3) If these students eat meat, fish or fowl they would benefit by
performing the sacrifices, as they would then be fully aware of where their
own food comes from. Not seeing the slaughtering, processing and packaging
in today's society does not relieve them of their responsibility for the
kill, any more than paying someone to commit any act, including murder, for
one's own benefit relieves either party of responsibility for the crime or