Tests, t-shirts, and tickets: the cost of senior year

Being a senior isn’t cheap. Even though some senior expenses are optional, many students are willing to pay the cost of having a costly yet memorable senior year.

“Everything that we have to buy costs so much,” senior Kamie Lloyd said. “I am not the one paying for all of these things, my parents are. Even the little things are expensive, like the yearbook ads, the field trip to Six Flags, and cap and gown. I think it is really adding up over the year, and I feel bad that my parents are spending so much money on me this year.”

As it’s their last year in high school, many seniors feel they need to attend every event they can to get the most out of their high school experience.

“Gas money is a big problem because I am always driving to all of the school functions,” senior Lizzy Riley said. “I always want to be there to support all of the sports, so I end up driving to all of the football games, volleyball games, and other sports even though some are far away.”

The prices start adding up before the school year as senior pictures for the yearbook often take place the summer before a student’s senior year. However, several seniors want to have  more pictures taken.

“I am about to take my senior pictures soon which are really expensive,” senior Paige Eberhart said. “You usually have to pay a lot more money to get the best quality pictures.”

Another tradition that seniors usually do every year is make personalized senior shirts.

I feel like it is almost mandatory to get so many shirts in order to fit in with everyone, and I don’t want to miss out on anything”

— Claire Becker

“If you are involved with a lot of activities senior year, you are pretty much buying a new t-shirt very frequently,” senior Claire Becker said. “This year alone, I have bought playoff shirts, cheerleading shirts, homecoming shirts, jungle shirts, senior shirts, and several other random shirts. I feel like it is almost mandatory to get so many shirts in order to fit in with everyone, and I don’t want to miss out on anything.”

More expenses of senior year are both Homecoming and Prom. One ticket to the Homecoming dance alone ranges from $20 to $40 every year while a ticket to Prom can range from $50 to $100. Other than purchasing the tickets to get into the dances, most students also have to pay for several other extra dance expenses.

“The most expensive thing I have had to buy for senior year so far has been Prom tickets,” senior Seth Comerford said.

The beginning of senior year is when students begin applying for college. College application fees usually cost around seventy-five dollars each, so this can add up for students that apply to several colleges. Sometimes, students decide to take SAT or ACT prep courses because it is usually required that students take either the ACT or SAT when applying for college.

The SAT and ACT usually costs fifty dollars apiece each time you take it.””

— Lizzy Riley

“The SAT and ACT usually costs fifty dollars apiece each time you take it,” Riley said. “I have taken these tests several times and also had a lot of prep for my tests. It got really expensive and takes up a lot of my time.”

Several students also try to get ahead in college by taking dual credit or AP classes

“Senior year is definitely the most important in my opinion,” senior Savana Hanson said. “Those of us that take AP classes have to pay for the AP tests, and the people that are taking dual credit classes have to pay for the actual class, and the books are at least one hundred dollars each. It is much more expensive than what we have had to pay for in the past.”

Some seniors decided to get a class ring as a keepsake of their time spent in high school.

“My class ring cost a lot of money,” senior Ryan James said. “I’m not sure exactly how much mine was because my parents didn’t tell me. I know that I got one of the least expensive ones, and I would say it was about three hundred dollars.”

Seniors have to pay for their cap and gown which is to be worn on the day of graduation. These cost around $50 to $100. It is also recommended for seniors to pay for thank you notes and graduation invitations.

“Senior year is hard because we are supposed to be saving money up for college,” senior Jacob Comerford said. “There is a lot of stuff from the high school that seniors are supposed to buy like cap and gown, graduation invitations, and things like that. Overall, senior year has definitely been the most expensive in high school.”