Staff Ed – The Ridiculous Cost Graduation

Cameron Bessette, Reporter

Students have slaved over tests and homework as well as successfully navigated the maze of high school social life in order to arrive at the ultimate coming-of-age ceremony, graduation. Many blindly assume that the event will be next to free, after all, most students have earned it. However, the sad and disappointing truth is that graduation and senior year have become ridiculously costly, especially for families that want to commemorate the event.

In this day and age every aspect of a high schoolers graduation is attached to a price tag. Every year there seems to be more numbers added to those tags. Everything from senior photos, invitations, yearbooks, class memorabilia and a gown cost have an inflated price.

A professional photo shoot for a high school senior can cost over 1,000 dollars. To take one simple portrait shot in Utah can cost between 190 to 200 dollars per session. The terrifying factor is that though, expensive, that estimate is for a simpler portrait sitting and it does not include any printing.

A Taylorsville yearbook costs 50 dollars and that is if a student pays in advance. If someone pays closer to when the yearbooks are printed they can cost 65 dollars.  Though this cost may seem reasonable it is added to all of the other costs. Additionally, it becomes a little higher every year as the industry inflates their prices and the yearbook becomes more and more detailed and intricate.

High school memorabilia such as class rings, jewelry and apparel have risen in popularity, thus rising to absurd prices. The cheapest class ring offered by Jostens costs a whopping $69.99. The most expensive can cost over $1700. The jewelry and apparel offered by the same company are also overly expensive.

A cap and gown, which are required to be able to walk during graduation costs $21. Without at least paying this fee a student cannot participate in their own graduation ceremony. It should be unthinkable that another fee should be added to the stack of school and book fees that families have paid for twelve years. Especially since the only purpose of this fee is so that the students can all match on graduation day, as if that is the most important part of that event.

The many inflated costs associated with a high school graduation are over excessive and unnecessary. It should be affordable for a family to celebrate their student’s victory. Each student represents a significant financial investment that a family has supported over twelve long years. Forcing them to dish out money to celebrate their achievement, especially at inflated and unaffordable prices is wrong. A high school senior and their family deserve to be able to celebrate their achievements without breaking their wallets.