Assayer of Student Opinion.

The Prospector

Assayer of Student Opinion.

The Prospector

Assayer of Student Opinion.

The Prospector

Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required
Prospector Poll

Do you enjoy morning or afternoon classes ?

  • Morning classes (74%, 14 Votes)
  • Afternoon classes (26%, 5 Votes)

Total Voters: 19

Loading ... Loading ...
Professor Marcelo Frias is new to El Paso teaching computer science, who has been here for a week and already loves the city of El Paso.
Arts & Culture
Inside their world: International professors of UTEP
Sep 18, 2023
According to a study by Young Invincibles, 72 percent of student parents nationwide are mothers.
Two for one, a student mother makes it all happen
Sep 15, 2023
The UTEP Career Center can be found at the Union West Building, Room 103, is open to all students, from incoming graduates to seniors and graduate students.
UTEP Career Center sets students up for success
Sep 15, 2023
UTEP’s 1988 quarterback Pat Hegarty also hosted the football luncheon that was held at the Convention Center July 26.
UTEP football pays homage to 1988 championship team
Sep 15, 2023
UTEP Career Center Director, Betsabe Castro-Duarte, poses with her fellow employees of the Career Center.
A commitment to the University Career Center
Sep 14, 2023

Commemorating commencement

Alberto Silva Fernandez
Graduation cap, gown and medal packets for upcoming graduates are available at the University Bookstore.

Celebrating the occasion is too costly for some students

As graduation draws near, it’s time to decide who to invite, where to hold your family get-together, and what to buy to commemorate the event. You have already dropped a lot in tuition, and you had to pay for your cap and gown – do you feel obligated to spend money on adornments as well? 

A lot of students say yes, there is a pressure to get an expensive frame or a class ring to commemorate their time at college.  Some students have voiced that society and advertising companies play a big role in the pressure to spend, while others say their families push for it. 

“I know my mom has already stated, ‘when you graduate, we’re going to go all out, we’re going to send out invitations; you have to buy them from your school,’” said Zipporah Rios, a sophomore at UTEP. “Personally, I feel there is a lot of pressure, but I don’t see a point in doing all of that nonsense.” 

According to Cost Helper, the total cost of a graduation ranges between $300-$2,500, depending on what you purchase along with your cap and gown. These additional accessories can include a commemorative medallion, a class ring, announcements, graduation packs, frames, and additional materials for graduation parties.  

“I would be the first person in my household to graduate college, so I could see how they’re proud of me and they want to flaunt it or whatever,” Rios said. “But for me, I’ve been working towards this goal since I was younger. I knew I wanted to graduate college since I was younger. So, it’s just another milestone for me.”  

UTEP senior Sadie Carrillo said she feels obligated, but is probably not going to make these types of purchases.  

According to Education Data Initiative, the average four-year public university cost for a student living on campus is about $25,000 per year. This is before books and additional fees are factored in. In the 2015-2016 school year, 58% of full-time students held a job.  

With college prices rising and the U.S. minimum wage remaining idle, students are struggling to cover costs. According to Urban Institute, 30-40% of undergraduates take out student loans to cover their costs, and 70% of 4-year college graduates have debt afterwards.  

Considering the mounting cost of attending university alone, a grand celebration may not be an option for every student and some feel there is no reason to stigmatize a refusal to spend much on commemorative décor or memorabilia. 

“It’s one thing to go through all these years of college and finally finish. Then to graduate, you need to buy a cap and gown,” said Elias Rivas, a sophomore at UTEP. “You’re going to buy all this stuff. It’s like, ‘I just spent all that money here.’” 


 Kristen Scheaffer is a staff reporter and can be reached at [email protected]

Leave a Comment
About the Contributors
Kristen Scheaffer, Contributor/Writer
Kristen Scheaffer is a senior, studying multimedia journalism with a minor in creative writing. She is starting her final semester at UTEP and The Prospector, with hopes of graduating in December. When she is not reporting, she can be found reading, writing, drawing, and hiking. Her aspirations include publishing her own writing and delving more into politics.
Alberto Silva Fernandez, Contributor/Photographer
Alberto Silva Fernandez is a sophomore, majoring in Multimedia Journalism at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is a photographer for The Prospector and freelances covering the borderland. When he isn’t covering events Albert likes to study politics, play video games, and listen to music.
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Prospector Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Commemorating commencement