Senior fees prove too steep for students

Seniors are forced to pay dues that go to the overall graduation experience. However, some students cannot afford the fees and other expenses of senior year. This is denying students the well-deserved graduation experience solely based on financial status.

Students pay $195 for senior dues, $65-plus for college application fees, $45-$60 for the SAT, $29-$43 for the ACT, about $10 to send your scores individually to colleges and $30 for photos in the yearbook.

With those numbers in mind, if you pay your senior dues, apply to four colleges, take the SAT and ACT with writing and take your photo for the yearbook, you end up paying around $583. If you are like me, and can’t even afford the day-to-day expenses of the cheap school lunches, there is no way you can afford the senior fees.

To be fair, this year’s senior class is smaller than normal, hence the high rates,  according to Assistant Principal Mr. Willie Vincent. Despite that, it is not fair for hard-working seniors to be given a flyer that essentially says you cannot graduate because of your financial status.

While paying senior dues is difficult enough, a third-party company, Herff-Jones, wants to sell you a ring and a letterman jacket that isn’t cheap whatsoever during a “senior meeting”. This advisement time is generally used to catch up on work, study, or just relax. Combined with the stress I already have with college applications and school work, why am I having time taken out of my advisement to be sold to? I can barely afford to scrape together enough dough for the original senior dues.

To make the situation even more difficult, there isn’t a program in place to aid students who are incapable of paying the dues. The only items the school is willing to cut from the cost of your senior dues are the yearbook and class shirt. Even so, the price is still $109, at the very least.

Additionally, many of us are going to college and don’t have enough money to pay for it on our own. In addition to absurd tuition  and other fees, you still have to depend on your parents for certain expenditures, like phone service or healthcare.

I have worked hard these past four years, and I believe many of my peers have worked hard as well. I believe we all paid our dues when we listened to the long and dull morning and testing days announcements, got hazed our freshmen year, sat there waiting for the slow computers to load up a simple web page, when we had mice and roaches scurry by our sides and took time-wasting classes. Given what we have gone through already, what more can the administration ask of the students?