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Graduation imposes costs on students

Jake Stevens

Students are responsible for purchasing a cap, gown and tassels on top of the $50 fee that students must already pay to graduate.

Bennett Stansell

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By the time students walk across the graduation stage in December or May to claim their well-deserved diplomas, they will have spent countless hours of their college lives studying for tests, working on class projects and conducting research in a lab or in the field. The soon-to-be graduates will probably also have spent a considerable amount of money on the pageantry and fees that are associated with graduating, and more specifically with the commencement ceremony itself.

This year’s spring commencements will be split up by the specific college that each student belongs to and will be held on May 5-7 in Coleman Coliseum.

According to Shelby Akin, a senior graduating in May who is majoring in journalism and minoring in Italian, the price of graduation and partaking in the commencement ceremony is too costly.

“I think the price of graduation is too high,” Akin said. “I understand that the University has to pay for diplomas and the ceremony, but honestly, shouldn’t that be a part of our tuition fees? I think we pay enough in parking and tuition.”

Akin especially does not believe that a student participating in a commencement ceremony should be responsible for purchasing a cap, gown and tassels on top of the $50 fee that students must already pay to graduate.

“I really don’t think every person who is graduating should have to pay $50 plus buying an expensive cap and gown if you want to participate in your own graduation ceremony,” Akin said.

On top of the mandatory expenses that graduates must pay, there are many optional expenses as well. For example, graduates can purchase a class ring, which ranges in price from $290-$505 depending on the style that they choose. Graduates also often consider spending money on graduation pictures and 
graduation announcements.

Chris Kenney, a graduating senior in business management, has taken measures to cut down on the many of the costs associated 
with graduation.

“We’re not really doing physical announcements, which cut costs a lot,” Kenney said. “Either my parents or I will probably send out an email to family members announcing my graduation. I also had a friend to do photos for me, which saved me a lot of money because professionally done 
photographs can cost hundreds of dollars.”

Although graduating and partaking in the commencement ceremony can be both time-consuming and costly, most seniors will still participate because it is a once-in-a-lifetime event.

“I don’t want to look back on this in 20 years and wish I had walked,” Akin said. “And I don’t think I will look back on this in 20 years and say ‘Man! I really wish I hadn’t walked!’”

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Graduation imposes costs on students