Keep These Senior Year Expenses in Mind

If you’re a senior in high school, you’re probably having a great time right now. The school year is almost have over, and you can begin to taste graduation, a.k.a freedom. But senior year doesn’t just bring along memories that last a lifetime and endless parties. There are a ton of expenses to be aware of. If you aren’t a senior yet, consider this a planning list.

Graduation cap and gown - This is typically the minimum schools require you to purchase in order to participate in the graduation ceremony.

Graduation Merchandise – While you’re purchasing a gap and gown, you’ll be presented with numerous opportunities to buy senior t-shirts, sweatpants, hoodies, key chains, picture frames, and more overpriced crap. These will add up…fast!

Graduation Party - You’ll need food and beverages, invites, decorations, etc.

College application fees - This caught both my dad and me off guard. I would budget at least $100 towards this. I “only” applied to 3 schools and application fees were somewhere around $120. Some schools charge $50 while others only charge $20 or $30. If you honestly cannot pay the fees required, talk to your guidance counselor because they can usually figure out a solution.

Pictures – Traditionally, pictures are taken during the summer or fall of your senior year. This can balloon to giant costs if you (or your parents) add on a bunch of different outfits and extra prints. Mine cost around $350, but I know kids at school who have easily spent $1000 or more.

Yearbook - This isn’t a senior year only expense since most people purchase one every year, but the senior year edition is probably the one you’ll want the most. Be aware of extras like adding your name or symbols to the front cover. Jostens makes a ton of cash on these options.

Travel - For schools that offer a big trip (like the Spanish class going to Mexico), they’ll usually offer it senior year. Make sure to plan for this cost, it’ll likely be sizable. Also figure out if you want to go on a road trip over the summer before college starts. College visits can consume quite a bit of time and gasoline.

Even if you aren’t paying for most or any of these, let your parents know in advance. They might be planning for the cap and gown, but forgot about hundreds of dollars worth of pictures.

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