The Price of Graduation

How much does it really cost to be a senior?

Kenneth Montano

Through the pandemic, companies have had sympathy for the group of people who have lost their jobs by lowering their prices. The employment rate is currently at 14.7% and is only rivaled in high unemployment by the Great Depression. With people struggling to gather the resources to survive, the last thing they want to worry about is the price of a moment that will stick with their child for a lifetime: graduation.

Although the price of the lowest cap and gown bundle for a student is around $67 and comes with a souvenir tassel and key chain (you can also buy just the cap and gown for $42), the price skyrockets for people looking for the standard high school experience, like senior ads and class rings. 

Senior Shelby Hansen wanted a ring for her senior graduation, but she has an allergic reaction to silver. Her ring needs to be made of gold in order to prevent a rash, so she ended up spending over $300 more on a pure 10 karat gold ring. This is an extreme case, but the money can really start to add up on this event that encourages making memories.

Senior ads are something that people pay for because as a way to show how far they have come and a way to leave your mark on the yearbook. Letters have been sent out to senior households, and the district website boasts how much buying a senior ad will mean to the student. However, the lowest price for it is seventy-five dollars, which is more than the cap and gown.

Applying to college can be expensive as well. Most applications cost anywhere from $50-$100 per application, which adds up when many seniors are applying to more than one school. Nevertheless, some seniors must also pay to send in transcripts via Parchment or send their CSS profile to universities than require it. Sometimes, it will cost at least $500 or more to apply for college for those that can’t get an application fee waiver.

Despite this time of ongoing crises people will still have to break their wallets for graduation in the name of tradition. Everything adds up faster than most realize, and once it’s over, there’s nothing left in the bank for anything other than groceries and bills. Nevertheless, these costs are usually worth it at the end of the year when the graduate gets to walk the stage in their cap and gown.