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The high price of graduation



Graduation season is upon us with all its pointy-capped glory. Bring on the tears. The laughter. The speeches about futures so bright you have to wear shades.

Break out a wallet, too. Getting to that diploma isn't cheap.   

While the memories from this week's ceremonies in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando will last a lifetime, the bills had to be paid up front. No, we're not talking about Grandma's plane ticket for the big event, or the blow-out bash to celebrate it. Thought senior prom, portraits and Grad Night expenses added up? Check what it costs just to walk across the stage:

27cap Cap, gown, tassel: $28; Medallion worn around neck: $9; Diploma cover: $9. There's a serious dress code for graduation. That's why the cap, gown, medallion and diploma cover often are sold as a package — a.k.a. required

Graduation announcements: 75 cents each. Want gifts? Better send out invites.

Photo packages: A portrait of the graduate, plus a shot walking across the stage to receive that diploma and shake the principal's hand: $30 to $65. Want to forget Principal X? Ha! You know the handshake photo is bound for a big frame in Mom's living room.

Classring Class ring: Starts at $89 for silver. Gold ranges from $341 for a women's ring in 10-karat, to $545 for men's ring in 14-karat gold. Okay, so if you wanted a class ring, you got it a while ago. But graduation is the day to wear it.

Prices are estimates and exact figures can vary by school. Sources: Herff Jones for graduation products and attire, Bryn-Alan Studios for commencement photos. Main image from

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:46am]


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