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Pictures, ACTs, and Gowns, Oh My!

Sharia Williamson, Senior Editor

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It’s only the first week of October and seniors are already buzzing about graduation. However, with the decrease in temperatures this month, there is also a decrease in the wallets of seniors.

Senior year is the big finish and the most expensive. Parents of students are trying to fit in all of their student’s “lasts”, like their last yearbook, last games, last time taking school pictures, last school shirts; but why is senior year still so much more expensive than any other year?

One reason is that there are traditions that have been around ever since our grandparents were in highschool, and maybe even before that, but they are indeed something underclassmen look forward to doing…until they hear the price.

First, senior pictures. The perfect excuse to go buy new outfits for the sole purpose to take pictures in them. This could possibly be the most expensive part of senior year. On top of the cost of outfits, it costs at least three hundred to four hundred dollars to hire someone to take the pictures. This price does not include the money needed to buy the rights to those photos and to print them. Included in most photographers’ prices is an average of a two hundred dollar credit to actually get the photos printed, but nonetheless, after you tack on all of the extra expenses,  pictures can cost around seven hundred to twelve hundred dollars alone. It can get to be a hefty price.

Another expense that is quite less satisfying than getting pictures taken, is paying for the ACT if you choose to take it more than the provided first time. The ACT is a test that all students are required to take at least once. After it has been taken, students receive the test scores either in the mail or online. These scores help determine scholarships and college acceptance. Adults encourage students to take the ACT more than once, to attempt to improve their score. The ACT is $46 without writing and $62.50 with writing, if the test is taken multiple times. It can add up; however, it can also improve scores which can lead to more scholarship opportunities.

The final expense of senior year, is the cap and gown for graduation. This expense isn’t just money, but also ordering the last thing a senior will wear as a high schooler. To make up for all of the crying that most people will do, the cost of a cap and gown is not very expensive; usually around $50. In addition to the graduation process, the cost of having a graduation party can cost anywhere from fifty dollars to three hundreds dollars depending on how extravagant you want your party.

These are only a few expenses of senior year, but they are the ones that a majority of students will have to deal with. This does not include the gas used to drive around with friends, going out to celebrate all of the “lasts” with ice cream or food, college applications, dances, class rings, and yearbooks.

The expenses of senior year are not something that most understand until that student is part of a graduating class, but the cost is worth the lasting memories of senior year.

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Pictures, ACTs, and Gowns, Oh My!