Graduating students at more than a dozen California public universities will have to hand over money before they are handed their diplomas.
Across the state, 15 of Cal State’s 23 campuses have graduation fees, the Oakland Tribune reported.
California State University, Stanislaus in Turlock charges students $35 to take part in commencement. The fee covers the cost to review transcripts and ensure students have met all requirements to graduate, associate vice president for communications and public affairs Dave Tonelli said in an email.
The fees are not new, but students are noticing them at a time when they have experienced tuition fee hikes nearly every year they were on campus, the Tribune reported. At San Jose State, some students recently learned they’d have to pay $75 to participate in their department’s celebration.
“You’ve worked so hard,” said Rebecca Krueger, who started a blog about the fees. “It’s this time of honor and celebration, and you’re hit with this fee just to participate. You feel nickel-and-dimed.”
Cal State spokesman Mike Uhlenkamp said because tuition money can only be used for instruction costs, campuses must look elsewhere to pay for graduations. The state’s Master Plan for Higher Education has created a complicated set of fees, the Tribune reported.
UC Berkeley graduates don’t pay a separate fee to get their diplomas, but commencement tickets cost $10 a head — even for graduates themselves.