Seniors are only four months away from their graduation ceremony. At a recent senior meeting, a Balfour representative presented seniors with the pricing for graduation. He spoke about the cost of cap and gowns, invitations, and class rings. In order to walk the stage, seniors are required to wear a cap and gown, which costs $50 alone. After adding the cost of personalized invitations, thank-you notes, and a class ring, graduation prices become increasingly expensive. The district should have alternative ways to reduce graduation prices for seniors.
Walking the stage in front of family and friends is a major life event that seniors look forward to. In order to participate, seniors are supposed to pay a fee for a gown which will only be worn for a few hours. This includes the gown, cap, and tassel. After graduation, students either donate their cap and gowns, or keep them. On top of this $50 fee, depending on the amount purchased, the price of invitations varies, but can be as high as $70. Balfour also offers packages. However, the packages range from $73 to $265, and the cheapest option does not include invitations. The amount of money every senior has to pay in order to enjoy and participate in their own graduation is disheartening not only to students, but their families as well.
Communities in Schools (CIS) is a non profit organization that helps with college admission fees, free and reduced lunches, and sponser college visits. CIS provides free caps and gowns to students in the program as well. However, they only have twelve caps to provide for the whole senior class (roughly 590 students). CIS does help students who need the financial assistance; however a dozen cap and gowns is not enough to cover the amount of students who need the assistance. Students who are not in the programs, such as CIS, only recieve finanacial help from the school if they set up a meeting with CIS counselors. If students do need financial help, it is crucial for them to talk to someone. Counselors in the past have bought students cap and gowns, and no senior has ever walked the stage without a cap and gown.
A way to aid every student is having reusable cap and gowns. The school does have some reusable cap and gowns, however only the ones donated by past students. Most sports teams such as basketball and football have reusable jerseys, and ROTC has reusable uniforms. Having reusable caps and gowns that students rent at a lower price would be cheaper for students and give extra funding to the school.These caps and gowns will be washed every year, and if a student destroys the gown, then they should be held accountable for the cost. Walking the stage should not come at an expensive cost.
~Connie Wiggins- Assistant Editor-in-Chief