Why is being a senior so expensive?

By Yesenia Rocha

March 22, 2022

SAN JOSE, CALIF. – Being a senior in high school can be frustrating because of all the expenses we students and our parents pay throughout the year in order to have some sort of high school memory. 

Starting with the basics, a cap, gown and tassel are all $52.96 according to the brand our school bought ours from. Any other additional merchandise or apparel from that same site can cost as low as $6 or as high as $46. Senior picture prices are beyond the charts. JP Impressions is a well known photography place in downtown San Jose. The prices on different packages are shown on their online website and can vary on what poses you choose, as well as different sizes. My pictures, including a cheer collage, were a little over $500.

Different package prices on senior pictures
Photo credits: JP Impressions

Prom is an event most people would not like to miss out on. Depending on what style, length and design you may want, dress prices can vary from $100-$600, or even more. Also if you include any alterations, that’s an additional $35-$400. What is unfair is how girls need to buy their dress, but guys are able to rent out a tux and get their money back. Prom tickets are pricey themselves, starting at $90 and the prices only get higher because a lot of people want to go. It is really unfortunate for the students having to pay for two tickets, for both them and their date. 

If you do decide to apply for college, you’re required to pay the fee for applying, which can cost from $50-$90. You’re not going to apply for just one because chances of you getting accepted can be low considering the fact there are so many others applying. This means you’re going to need options and apply at multiple colleges, resulting in multiple fees. 

Lastly, some schools do have an option to have a senior trip. It can be pricey, having to pay for a hotel, food, and any other keepsakes you’d want to have. It can vary from $2,000 and up.

Silver Creek Senior, Cristina Lopez, mentions, “Since I was a freshman I have always wanted to have the best high school experience, and that came with many expenses. Being a cheerleader for four years has cost my parents over $1,000 because of buying new uniforms, the competition fee, choreography and travel feesand now a prom dress and tickets that vary from $120-$150. It has only gotten more expensive now that I am a senior. Buying graduation necessities like a cap and gown, purchasing graduation pictures, and many other things that totally add up at the end.” 

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