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With Graduation Approaching, One Final Fee For Students

NORTHRIDGE ( — As graduation approaches, students at some public universities in the Southland will pay a fee to receive their diploma.

At Cal State Northridge, the more than 9,000 students who will graduate next week will pay a $47 fee. The school is one of 5 public universities that charge students a fee to graduate, whether they attend the ceremony or not.

"I don't know why they would make us pay a fee to graduate," said student Jazzmyne Bogard.

"It's just another expense that they can charge us for," said Bogard. "They have to get you for every little thing, I swear."

KNX 1070's Claudia Peschuitta reports that fees can cover a range of costs, from commencement tickets to individual department ceremonies.

CSU Defends Commencement Fees

"It's different from each campus, but the general idea of the fee is that it would be charged to offset the cost of graduation commencement," said CSU spokesman Mike Uhlenkamp.

Uhlenkamp said the costs range from $20-100. And while there is no limit, there is a vetting process every time a fee is established, according to Uhlenkamp.

Fees vary among schools, with students at Cal State Fullerton paying $115, the highest of the 5 public universities. Students at Cal State Los Angeles pay the lowest, at $30.

"Tuition fees for the Cal State University campuses are amongst the lowest of any institution," said Uhlenkamp. "Students are aware of these types of fees so it's not really a surprise."

The administration at Cal State Northridge said the practice has been in place as long as they can remember, and the $47 fee has not changed in 10 years.

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