The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Senior processing fee has its merits, but benefits don’t measure up

Going to college costs money. This is an obvious part of attending a university. But problems begin when the price of tuition goes up. Everyone is stretched to their limit by that point and then fees are added that seem unnecessary.

The newest in line of these is the senior processing fee. A charge, however minimal it seems at $25, is added to the already high cost of struggling students and is an unfair practice for many
graduating seniors.

It’s not that the $25 isn’t useful. It pays for costs that accrue from commencement ceremonies, such as the staff’s planning and organization and all of the hard work that goes into the effort of many people to make the students’ graduation day memorable. This topic is mostly an added expense that causes seniors animosity. However, the benefits and drawbacks seem to weigh equally in this regard.

One positive aspect of this fee is to help others. The people who work hard to plan, organize and follow through with the ceremonies for graduation deserve to be paid accordingly. Due to the fact that costs everywhere are going up in an economy that continues to struggle, it is only natural that the fees used to maneuver the process of this celebratory day are going to become larger as well.

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But this fair that the university keeps alluding to, this Senior Countdown fair event that is supposed to be benefiting those graduating after the semester. It doesn’t seem right that seniors be prepared for graduation virtually weeks before they are to set out into the world, already required to have jobs in order to succeed. It seems as though it’s almost too late for everyone graduating.

There is a website to be updated and it is good that the university is making information readily available. This will help prepare for any student questions and keep the amount of traffic out of the offices of those who have more important duties to attend to in the days that approach commencement.

The most blinding injustice for graduating seniors is for those not participating in the commencement ceremony. If this fee is to cover the rising costs of the duties for all of those organizing it, then why is it fair to ask those who simply want to get in the allotted amount of credits and leave with a career to pay the same amount that those involved with all of the fanfare?

Not to mention those transfer students who arrive at UW-Eau Claire with 90 credits. Under that criteria, they are immediately required to pay the fee even though they have no prior investment in the university and may not even end up graduating from Eau Claire.

It doesn’t seem as though this a justifiable practice, especially from the point of view of one of those students transferring to a new school.

The non-refundable payment, though it’s only a one-time requirement, has its upsides and downsides, but currently holds more of a negative balance than a positive one. This is under the restrictions of a three-year trial time and hopefully some of these concerns can
be addressed.

The time can also serve as a basis of trial and error to see if it truly works and is worth the aggravation of students. If not, one can hope that either students who oppose it or truly intelligent staff within the university student can amend the plan to make it more beneficial to the majority, or even everyone, involved in graduation.

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Senior processing fee has its merits, but benefits don’t measure up