As a senior preparing to graduate and be released into the professional world, I could not be more excited. My time at Lindenwood has been a very positive experience for me, and I’ve learned so much from my professors and peers. What struck me by surprise in the graduation process is the $100 I have to pay to get my degree.
Now, I am positive that this information was out there and available to me long before this year, but I was unaware until I received an email with information for graduation where I read about the extra charge.
I understand that graduation costs money to put on and that the money needs to come from somewhere; in fact, it makes sense that it would come from the students it is for. What I find a bit irritating, however, is that even students who choose not to walk at the ceremony still have to pay the fee — with that said, I do plan on walking.
In addition, there is the reasoning behind most complaints about any university: I pay just about $20,000 a year to go here. If I complete all of my requirements, I should get my degree. Instead, I have to pay 20 grand a year and then pay even more to actually get out with proof of completion.
Finally, college students are notoriously poor. I know I could have found out about the charge prior to when I did, but I am also confident that I am not the only student who was caught off guard. Speaking from experience, students do not tend to have an extra $100 lying around.
If the money is only going toward the ceremony, students who do not walk should not have to pay the fee. They won’t be attending the event it goes toward anyway. If it is for the physical degree, perhaps another printer should be considered if they charge $100 for one copy.
Assuming that the physical degree is largely what the fee goes toward (because everybody has to pay) then I would actually suggest charging us earlier. Politifact reports that, on average, it takes students about six years to complete a four-year degree. With this said, the degrees are set up to take four years.
The “bingo sheet” I have for my degree has a suggested layout to get me out in four years. If the university were to add a $12.50 charge to each semester instead, students would be free from this extra graduation charge.
This solution is not completely perfect, as students who take longer end up paying more and students that take less time end up paying less, but this is the case regardless. The earlier you graduate, the less money it costs you overall.
Hopefully, doing this and informing students of the charge would encourage students to stay at Lindenwood all the way through their degrees and to focus to get out a little sooner. Otherwise, it won’t impact their thought processes at all and they will just pay the $12.50 and move on with their lives.
Ultimately, I understand why this charge is necessary. I don’t think the university should get rid of it and foot the bill. I just wish I would have had a better heads-up about it or that it was factored into tuition beforehand.
When all is said and done, $100 is a fairly small price to pay for the proof of my time and completion at Lindenwood.