Cost of graduation adds up for Georgia Southern students

Alana Tinsley

UPDATE: A quote was removed from this article due to a misidentified source. The George-Anne regrets this error.

The post secondary field has seen an increase in graduation fees over the years and Georgia Southern is no exception, spending thousands of dollars each year to make the ceremonies as perfect and seamless as possible.

Everybody who plans to graduate must pay anywhere between $200 to $2,000 in order to walk at graduation, have keepsakes from the event and to celebrate the big day.

Pomp and costs

There are many details when it comes to planning graduation. GS collects the required $35 graduation fee from every graduating student in order to pay for its expenses, but commencement speakers are not included.

“Commencement speakers are not paid [by the] speaking fee,” Geoffrey Carson, associate university attorney of the office of legal affairs, said.

GS has had multiple commencement speakers for graduation ceremonies but the graduation fee does not pay for them to speak at the event, but it does reimburse the speakers for travel and stay.

Other things the fee covers are the cost of diploma covers, honor cords and printing and mailing the diplomas, according to Velma Burden, registrar of Administrative Services.

Oh the prices you’ll pay

Besides the graduation fee that students will have to pay, graduates will need to rent or purchase a cap and gown from Herff-Jones. Herff-Jones cap and gown rentals start anywhere from $25 to $50, but if you plan on purchasing your cap and gown as a keepsake then the price can be up to $100.

All sizing information needs to be sent in six weeks prior to the deadline or there will be a late fee, according to the Herff-Jones website.

The graduation fee, in addition to cap and gown rentals, will be the bare minimum graduates will have to pay for graduation. It is a custom for people to celebrate an accomplishment, such as graduating from college, with keepsakes, announcements and parties.

Some common mementos such as diploma frames and class rings are offered through GS. At the GS Bookstore, students can purchase diploma frames starting at $129.00.

Students can also purchase class rings through the GS website. Women’s rings start at $269.00 and men’s start $299.00 for basic ring designs. Prices can go up depending on size, if its personalized and ring/gem types, according to the GS website.

And the extras

Graduation announcements are another common tradition. At the GS Postal Service Center located inside Dining Commons, they offer deals where they can send out announcements in 24 hours of ordering and start as low as $0.85 per announcement letter.

You can also order announcements as well as diploma frames past the date of your graduation, but prices will go up the further you are into graduation season.

GS’ 2017 Spring graduation will take place May 5 and 6 in Hanner Fieldhouse and Paulson Stadium, respectively. Each graduating student will receive four graduation tickets at no cost, but attendees of the commencement will have to pay for travel costs.

People coming to see the graduation will have to consider traveling costs such as food, gas and a place to stay. Depending on how far your guests are coming from and how long they plan to stay, costs will vary in price. Guests should attempt to book a hotel as soon as possible due to rates increasing near graduation.

According to the Holiday Inn website, if you book now, a one-bed two-guest hotel room for any given weekend will be approximately $150. During graduation weekend in order to get exact same room, it will double in price. Several other hotels in the Statesboro area like Springfield Inn & Suites and the Baymont Inn & Suites are already booked for graduation weekend.

Some graduating students feel as if the cost of graduation is relatively inexpensive compared to other graduations. Others feel as if the fee is unnecessary and too much.

Maria Ordonez, senior civil engineering student believes the price isn’t that bad, compared to others.

“It’s [graduation fee] really inexpensive compared to other schools. For my high school graduation, I had to pay $50,” Ordonez said.

In contrast, Rashad Davis, senior communication studies major, thinks everything that all the prices that go into school is crazy.

David said, “I think it’s crazy that you have to pay to apply for the school, then pay for classes, and pay to graduate and you’re not guaranteed a job after college.”

An earlier version of this article reported that both spring commencement ceremonies would take place in the Hanner Fieldhouse. The ceremony on May 6 will take place in Paulson Stadium. We regret this error.