What my degree cost me

800px-GraduationIt’s going to cost me $75 to graduate *splutter* what with all the graduation regalia I have to hire. I could just NOT do the ceremony…but I’m a ceremonial type. I like events. I like pomp and circumstance (well, within reason). I attended all school awards and prizegivings, went to our 2006 high school leaver’s dinner (paying something like $65 to sit at a table and eat dinner with my friends, ignoring the majority of the rest of our year whom I hated), did my best to be in every class photo and saved all my yearbooks. It’s our chance to be recognised for our work over the past three years and I’m going to be there, dammit!

But I’ve been pretty lucky in terms of education costs. I had a scholarship which covered almost all my tuition over the three years – looking back in my records, I paid (out of pocket) just $1358. That’s $644 this year, $212 in 2008 and $182 for 2007.

I got away with buying very few books – and got most of those secondhand. I’d say I spent under $150 on textbooks.

Stationery I got a lot of from work for free – pens, reporter’s notebooks and the like. Let’s say I bought two folders and two pads of refill a year – that’s $36. I also had to buy a bunch of extra arty gear – special pens, paper etc for my advertising paper last year, which cost about $40. For photography, I used the old SLR I had from high school, but film and paper together probably cost me $250. I also bought a digital voice recorder this year, which to be honest, I’ve hardly used. Most of my interviews were done over the phone, and I never got around to getting a pluggy thing to connect it up…I could totally have got away without buying it. That cost me $120.

Finally, bus fares. I would have had to bus into town for work anyway, but I’ll include it all. At 13 weeks a semester and two semesters a year, $27 a week (rounded) comes to $2106 over three years.

So a rough total puts me at $2029 in directly related costs, plus $2106 in travel. That’s $4135, or roughly the cost of a year’s tuition alone. Can’t really complain.

(My post on the cost of eating out is in this week’s Carnival of Personal Finance, hosted by M is for Money!)

Photo / Quimbero

4 thoughts on “What my degree cost me

  1. That’s not too bad. I’m very fortunate that my parents supported me through my University career because the first two years (at community college) it was about $8,000 a year and the last two years at University it’s been closer to $15,000 a year. That’s not including living costs!! Going to school is SO expensive, hey!

  2. That really isn’t bad at all for your education!

    BTW… I skipped my Ph.D. ceremony because I thought it was a waste of money. Also, it was 10 months after I defended my thesis and I had already moved on to my current position. So it would have been REALLY expensive cause I would have had to fly back. However, I do KINDA wish I’d done it. So take pictures! =)

    However the college graduation. THAT I was there for. And it was great and totally worth $75.

  3. My college liked to nickel and dime us. There was a fee to apply to graduate, a fee to buy the cap and gown, a fee to get the honor cords, etc. Kind of sucked. And I found the graduation ceremony to be quite boring as well. I guess it is worth it though to have your family there and have that special moment.

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