by Niya Fearrington and Cinthya Plazas

The year filled with goodbyes; the year we spend an obscene amount of money to graduate from high school.

Everyone is well aware of how expensive college is, but less known are the large amounts of money that have to be dished out during senior year. Every week, it seems, more fees pile onto the price of being a senior.

High school graduation should be a celebration of students’ cumulative twelve-years-worth of effort. To attend the ceremony, seniors wear the traditional cap and gown. At their most basic cost, those two items total $58.85, including taxes, shipping and handling. Unless you have siblings of approximately the same height and size, that fee is a requirement for most seniors.

The graduation ceremony itself is held annually at the Dean Smith Center. In order for graduation to occur at the arena, seniors contribute to the hefty fee that the CHCCS district pays for the space, as well as all of the printing costs for the event’s programs.

The fees associated with applying to college are already extremely overwhelming. On average, seniors apply to six to eight institutions. The application process requires not only an application fee, which ranges from $25 to $90, but each college also requires a transcript — which comes at an additional fee of five dollars per school. Some schools require you to send official test scores from CollegeBoard, costing $13 each. While there is an option to submit tests scores for free at the time you take the test, anxiety sets in and you often contemplate if the score will be good enough or if you even want to attend that institution.

Applying to college is already a stressful process in and of itself, add in financial stress, and senior year can become too much to handle.

Even after you decide on which college to attend — the place where you will spend the next couple of years — deposit fees add even more financial stress. Used to seal your commitment to an institution, these deposits range in prices from $100-$500.

Along with all of the fees associated with furthering our education, there are events and opportunities that you just don’t want to miss out on during your senior year. Dances from T-dance to Prom, for example. But those come with prices of their own; those of tickets, dresses, dinner and more. So do things like indulging in “Class of 2018” paraphernalia; or your last high school yearbook to remember that teacher that gave you three hours of homework and the time you were the star in the spring musical; or simple things like enjoying the last high school rivalry game. All of these fees come secondary to the cost of advancing our education. These are all the things that you would want to reflect back on in 20 or 30 years.

The last year of high school is one that you wait for from the time you start kindergarten. You dream of all the perks and privileges of being a senior, but were you really prepared? Even if you took rigorous classes, visited colleges and wrote your college essay over summer were you really prepared for the financial commitment?

About Cinthya Plazas

Cinthya Plazas is Co-Editor-in-Chief of the JagWire.