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Graduation fees need to go

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editorial cartoon by Danielle De Luna

editorial cartoon by Danielle De Luna

College graduations represent a landmark achievement in everyone’s lives and it is a slap in the face for students to pay the $140 graduation fee in order to graduate.

Graduations serve as a transition to the next chapter in one’s life and it feels wrong to penalize students during a time for celebration.

Essentially, the school is shaking students down for even more money as they are on their way out. And the fee does not even cover cap and gown expenses, another $60.

In addition to the initial graduation fee, there is also a chance that you may have to pay even more. After submitting the graduation application, students also have to fill out a Student Participation Form, found on the Commencement Office’s website, that then makes them eligible to receive their guest tickets.

Once the participation form is filled out, students can print their guest tickets for Winter Commencement starting Dec. 9 through Jan. 17. If students fail to meet the deadline, they will need to submit an appeal form and will have to pay a $60 late fee to the Commencement Office. This means that if a student plays their cards wrong they could end up paying $260 extra in order to graduate. The fact that the Commencement Office barely advertises or announces these hidden fees and forms feels deceitful. 

Students have to go through a journey of redirected calls just to find the information they need and know what the various fees are for.

Vice president of finance and facilities Avo Kechichian said the money from the fee is applied to the fee of renting caps and gowns, printing of diplomas as well as the setup and equipment for the event. And how much does that cap and gown rental cost?

It is frustrating to have to pay more money on top of all of the tuition that we have already paid. It is infuriating to learn that surrounding private schools, like Claremont McKenna College, Occidental or Whittier, do not require this fee. 

Essentially, students pay to apply to the school, pay to attend the school and then pay to leave the school.

The school needs to better articulate information pertaining to commencement, like the various fees and deadlines and also what to do if we simply do not have the cash. It feels like the school is trying to milk us for as much money as it can. And we are just trying to get out of here.

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