Graduation costs students

Graduation costs students

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By: Isabel Corona

As seniors prepare to graduate in the spring, they’ll be confronted with the task of not only applying for graduation, but paying for it as well.

Although this fee is listed in the course catalog  freshmen receive, many students are still surprised to see the disclaimer pop up on their screen as they apply for graduation via BroncoWeb.

“I had heard rumors but I was not fully aware of it before I signed up,” said Austin Floge, a senior finance and accounting major.

The cost to apply for graduation is $20/undergraduate degree or certificate and $25/graduate or doctoral degree. Applications must be submitted by Jan. 27 for spring commencement, whether or not a student wants to walk in the graduation ceremony.

Jonathan Aceves, a senior sociology major, was also unaware of the fact that he had to pay a fee in order to receive his diploma.

“I thought it was already a process that was figured into our other school expenses. It wasn’t too much of a shock, but it was unexpected,” Aceves said.

Senior journalism major Nicole Kopczynski, who will graduate in December, had a similar reaction.

“I didn’t even know that you had to pay to graduate. It’s kind of weird that they make you pay for an application fee to graduate from school after you pay so much money for books and tuition. It seems extremely unfair,” Kopczynski said.

In addition to being unaware of the fact that they had to pay to apply for their degree, many students are unsure of what the money actually goes toward.

“I would be willing to pay the extra $20 if I knew where it was going,” Kopczynski said.

Both Floge and Aceves assumed that the fees paid for the administrative cost of having someone determine whether or not an applicant was in fact eligible for graduation. In actuality, while some of the fee does cover administrative costs, the bulk of it pays for the graduate’s physical diploma and cover. Associate registrar Mandy Nelson explained that these diplomas are produced by an outside vendor.

Nelson was quick to add that the registrar’s office doesn’t receive  many complaints from students about the fee. She said in a recent survey conducted by the registrar’s office of Fall 2013 graduates, only a handful out of the hundreds of respondents mentioned that they had been caught off guard by having to pay the fee for graduation.

After applying for graduation, students need to make sure to pay the fee within 48 hours, otherwise the application is voided. Nelson explained the reason for this deadline is so that the office isn’t processing applications that haven’t been paid for yet.

If a student is unable to pay the fee, then they can appeal to the registrar’s office to have the fee waived.

Additionally, the fee is a one time cost and if the application is denied, the student doesn’t need to repay the next time an application is submitted.