By Aimee Villalpando |Staff Writer|
Fifteen of the 23 CSU campus graduates face costly fees to receive their diploma and/or participate in commencement, reports the Oakland Tribune.
According to ABC News, more than a dozen California state universities have raised diploma prices and the amount of fees in the past few years.
While CSUSB requires a non-refundable $35 fee to be submitted with the application to participate in commencement, Cal State East Bay charges its students $45.
San Francisco State’s graduation fee was $40 two years ago but now charges its students $100, not including $45 tickets for attendees.
While graduation fees are not new to students, some are feeling especially weary of these charges in that most have experienced tuition increases every year they have been in college.
Soon-to-be graduate, Said Gonzalez expressed his thoughts and feelings, “I believe many students were excited to attend grad days, but many did not know that the costs would be high.”
He added, “I walked in all excited and walked out feeling confused as to why our graduates are having to pay for so much.”
Students from across California are resentful that they not only had to pay to get into the university, but have to pay to get out as well.
“On top of trying to pay for books, a parking pass, and all other expenses, I feel like the least we should be given is a paid graduation,” said Gonzalez.
CSUSB administrators commented on the issue as well.
Analyst Judy Heiman, who specializes in higher education in the Legislative Analyst’s Office, was not aware that such fees existed.
“I do wonder why they chose to do it that way,” said Heiman.
CSU spokesmen Mike Uhlenkamp explained that a complex system of student fees has resulted because of the state’s Master Plan for Higher Education.
The 50 plus year-old law requires that tuition fees be used for instructional purposes only, according to Uhlenkamp, causing the cost of ceremonies to be paid for by other means.
San Jose State’s Department of Health Science and Recreation charges $75 to take part in the commencement ceremony and provides the graduate a total of six tickets.
While the $35 commencement fee is not as steep for students at CSUSB, the number of tickets a graduating student receives depends on their department.
Aaron Jimenez, a graduating CSUSB business student claims he was only given seven tickets and will struggle to decide who he will invite to the ceremony.
“We thankfully do not have to pay for the tickets, though I do agree that these fees do affect a student’s participation in their graduation,” said Gonzalez.
Another graduating CSUSB student, Marcos Pineda, shared similar sentiments.
“I’m graduating and honestly, if I would have known what I know now, I would have saved up for it.”
“To file a Grad check costs $25, (then) $35 to sign up for commencement, $35 for Cap and Gown, minimum, $20 for Latino Grad, and for those doing Black Grad I think it’s $40,” explained Pineda.
Pineda estimates that he spent a minimum of $115 on costs connected with graduation.
Despite the concern that commencement prices are reaching an all time high, students who wish to walk must pay their dues in order to wlk across the stage on graduation day.