Graduation fee increases to cover cost of ceremony

This story was originally published in the third edition of The Lion’s Tale (December 12, 2017).

One by one, students walk on stage to stand before hundreds of classmates who have made it through the past four years. Graduation: the moment they have been working toward for those four years.

But before this day occurs, all seniors have to purchase  the graduation necessities.

This year, the basic graduation package rose from $100 to $110. If seniors wait to purchase the items after Feb. 1, the price increases to $135 (compared to last year’s $125). The entire increase is going towards the graduation ceremony itself, which is held at the CFE Arena at the University of Central Florida.

“In 2017, the cost went up $3,500 (from the 2016 price of $14,500), and since we hadn’t had a change in the fee, I approached Mr. Trybus,” said assistant principal Regina Klaers. “He agreed that adding the $10 would help us defray the cost. We don’t make money from graduation. The fees are to pay for the graduation itself.”

According to Klaers, the basic package includes the cap, gown and graduation fee. The graduation fee covers the cost of ordering diplomas, diploma covers, graduation medallion and spirit hood, cost of printing graduation programs, arena rental, ceremony rentals, security and staffing, video and audio equipment and decorations.

If students have an older sibling who graduated recently, they may be able to reuse the cap and gown, as long as it is approved by administration.

“The graduation fee is about $50 in that packet,” Klaers said. “We have students who are either needy or have a cap and gown from a previous year that has been approved.”

Robes must be from within the past two or three years so that the black is from the same color lot.

“I work with those students,” Klaers said. “If they pay a $50 fee, we make sure they have the 2018 tassel. Some of them already have the spirit hood; if not, we get them one.”