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PHOENIX (AP) — Students graduating from public universities in Arizona are required to pay additional application fees and have costs associated with commencement ceremonies that can add up to a few hundred dollars.

Universities in the state charge from $35 to $50 for students to apply for graduation, but regalia and optional graduation packages can create financial burdens on the cash-strapped students, The Arizona Republic reported .

“You have to pay money to get a degree you’ve been paying for this whole time. It’s absurdity; it’s infuriating,” said Triston McLean, a student expected to graduate from the University of Arizona in May.

Arizona State University in the Phoenix area charges $50 for its graduation application fee, which includes the diploma, diploma case and the cost of producing commencement ceremonies, said Bret Hovell, a university spokesman.

University of Arizona in Tucson also charges $50 for an application fee, which covers administrative costs for checking if students met degree requirements, said Pam Scott, a university spokeswoman.

A standard graduation package that includes a cap, gown and tassel for undergraduate students will cost at least $60. For doctoral degrees, the cost of an upper-level package can enter into the hundreds of dollars.

Hovell said all the money from cap and gown sales goes to an outside vendor.

At the University of Arizona, Scott said it receives about 20 percent of the cap and gown sales. Some of that revenue is used to fund the commencement ceremony and student programs, she said.

“We are very conscious of the costs and expenses associated with graduation,” Scott said. “Whether it’s with their colleges or through their purchases, students have options to help keep expenses to a minimum and we make a concerted effort to give our graduating students added value wherever possible.”


Information from: The Arizona Republic,