By Amanda Allie

Congratulations, graduate, you owe $155.54! If you break that apart, students pay a $75 registration fee to graduate and $80.54 for their cap and gown. My big question is, what the heck for?

I received an associate's degree at Schoolcraft College. As many know, community colleges are cheaper. At Schoolcraft, I paid $123 for one credit hour. At Madonna, I am paying a much higher price tag, at $458.

With that said, why am I paying $155.54 to graduate and attend the graduation ceremony when at Schoolcraft, where they collected far less from me, I paid $0? Something seems fishy here.

"I am excited to invite my family and friends to watch me graduate, but it was a little unsettling to hear how much it costs to do so," expressed senior Jill Beitzel.

I must agree with Beitzel. I am not cheap, in fact, the complete opposite. I like money, and I like spending it even more. Of course some of my spending habits over the years have taught me to be more frugal. But something about paying $155.54 to walk just seems unacceptable.

In fact, I fear it may dissuade students from attending the ceremony. Many students are working full- or part-time jobs in addition to attending classes, and some have families to tend to as well. Graduation should be a time of praise for students who have made it all the way through, but the extra $80.54 to walk across the stage and share that proud moment may not be in their budget.

Now, don't get me wrong. I am not suggesting the Madonna University Administration is taking our graduation money and waving drinks during spring break (non-alcoholic of course). However, I do think the high cost of tuition on top of books should be taken into consideration when charging to graduate.

Graduation is a celebratory time, and a time to look back and reflect on the time and money well-spent while here. However, the big sum to register to graduate and for a cap and gown just seem like a kick in the butt on the way out.

My suggestion would be for Madonna to look into what other colleges and universities who do not charge graduation fees do. If Madonna is unable to find a solution, perhaps they could lower the cost a tad to help our pocketbooks. I would also like to see a recyclable program where alumni can donate their cap and gown for a discounted purchase or rental to future graduates. If we can't make it free, let's at least put our caps together and knock down the price a little!



Graduation comes with a big price