$enior Year Expen$es


Contrary to the iconic words uttered by the legendary Notorious BIG, mo’ money does not necessarily equate to mo’ problems. In fact, for seniors, it is quite the opposite. Senior year is filled with expenses that pile on relentlessly.

The senior portrait is an essential piece to the end of your high school career. It is the picture that you will show your kids and your grandkids when you speak on the experiences of your youth. Senior portraits typically take place during the summer before the year officially begins. It costs money for a photo session itself, which also reserves a spot for your picture of choice in the yearbook. However, there is an additional cost to actually buy physical copies of the picture.

College application season is among the most stressful times in a senior’s life. Besides the headaches that come with the act of filling out endless forms of information and writing some of the most important essays of your life, it costs money to submit them to colleges. Cal States charge $55 per application, while UCs charge $70. SAT/ACT test scores, which are required by many CSUs and UCs, also come at a cost. Both the test themselves and sending test scores cost money.

The cap and gown is one of the most important outfits you will ever wear in your entire life– besides the fact that it is mandatory to wear for graduation. You must pay to rent/buy a cap and gown. The cap and gown is oftentimes sold with packages that include a multitude of senior themed memorabilia ranging from key chains to class rings. Class rings, which can be personalized to your liking, are an especially popular item, although they can cost a pretty penny.

Besides the cap and gown, another staple piece in a senior’s wardrobe is the senior sweater. These are usually custom designed by the senior class council every year, and are usually not too hard on the wallet.

As the end of the year winds down for seniors, the payments continue to pour in.

If a single picture is worth a thousand words, there is no better way to look back on your high school days than with a yearbook. Yearbooks are filled with pictures highlighting some of the most memorable events of your life and they last forever, making them worth every dollar spent.

One night that will be undoubtedly be one your most memorable during senior year is Prom! Prom is a deeply implanted high school tradition that allows you to live your teenage movie fantasies– at a cost. Looking like a thousand bucks at prom can oftentimes cost nearly a thousand bucks. Factoring in professional pictures, dinner, makeup, hair styling, and the other countless little details that lead up to that night to remember, a thousand bucks is very much a reality for some.

Besides graduation itself, Grad Night is, if not the, one of the last high school events in a person’s life. Grad Night location and cost often varies. Fundraisers are often held in order to help those who plan to save some moola.

The moral of this story is to save money for the overflowing costs of senior year. Take advantage of all opportunities that will allow you to save money, and consider a part time job, perhaps. It literally pays to be prepared.