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I was already informed that senior pictures will need to be done as soon as school starts. I'm a little upset because when i was a senior, all you had to do was submit a picture to the yearbook, it didn't matter who took it. now you have to use the company that comes to the school and takes everyone's picture.....and pay 'The Senior Photo Price'. I won't let DD know, but I will be giving the admins. a piece of my mind. and yearbooks...for the love of all that is holy!!!! I'm in the book business, so I know in this age of digital press, there's no reason they should cost this much. Much of the design is already done by the students, which is an excellent learning experience for those interested in graphics and design, there should be dozens of presses jumping up and down to give you the best price right now.
I don't mind buying the cap and gown of course, but instead of just selling you that, you have to buy a 'package' that includes annoucements and what not, once again, over priced in an age of digital printing.
The class ring was actually reasonable and they let you make payments and the field trips to the theme parks also come at a discount.
anyways...thanks for listening to my rant!
 

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Funny how things have changed.

Used to be so cheap to graduate HS. Now it's a big to do with parties, open houses etc etc etc.

We won't even talk about prom with the Limo's and $$$$$ dresses.

Hope this doesn't kill your budget too badly.
 

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My oldest is a sophomore, so I'm not quite there yet, but I agree with the yearbooks. Ours are $75!!!! And its not like you can't get one- you have to- it is an American tradition! Where we live we pay "book rental" so back to school time is so expensive- about $250 per kid book rental for public school. Ugh.
 

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We are right there with you.

Our daughter is a senior this year as well. She is graduating from the same HS as I did. For as far back as I can remember, our HS has required the yearbook photo for seniors be made at a certain studio. We took DD's last week. I only had this photographer do her yearbook photo in the drape and pearls, not her cute photos in different outfits. I am going to a better photographer who is doing "on location shots" in three weeks for that.

Her class ring wasn't too bad, around $250. Her senior portraits will be between $200-$300. She is student government president for the upcoming school year. This requires many speaking engagements, a week at Girl's State, attending Youth Summit and various other events. In June we had to get her several outfits from business casual pants and tops to a formal ball gown for all of her events. That ran in the $700 range.

Once school gets in there will be the yearbook: $50; graduation fee: $50; parking pass: $10; locker rental: $6; AP exam fee: $86 for each class(she's in 4 AP classes); her senior "Congratulations" ad in the yearbook: $100; and a few other incidentals like senior t-shirts, prom, homecoming and graduation invitations.

In the end, we are getting off cheaper with her than we will be with DS. She is in public school and DS is in private. His tuition alone is $8K/year. Not to mention all of the other fees and the costs involved with him playing varsity football and baseball. I am sure his graduation costs are going to be much higher than hers.
 

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At least with the photos you don't have to buy them from the company the school picks. You can go someplace reasonable like Sears and have photos taken to share with the family.
 

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I've been through it, twice. My daughter was way more expensive than my son. My son does not have to follow the "crowd". He did not want to go to his senior prom. The picture packages were not a big deal either. I got off easy with him. For both kids we had family parties and they could invite a few close friends. No big blow outs. Some of the parties their friends had were the type you would throw when they graduate college.

Hope all goes well. Try to enjoy your dd's senior year with her. She only graduates high school once, but it does not mean you have to break your budget.
 

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My dd just graduated in May. Our school requires each senior to have a yearbook photo taken by a very expensive company. But you don't have to pay to have it taken unless you buy them from the photographer. Dd's were HORRIBLE! We chose the best of the five drape shots for the yearbook and that was that.

I took her other pictures myself with our digital camera. I love to take photos and she does so much better with me than a professional. We went to different locations in our area and they turned out much better than any of the professional ones that her friends had done. I even did a drape shot myself that was awesome and we used it and several others that I took in her announcements. We printed them at Walmart where I could choose which ones I wanted for whom and what sizes.

The company that we ordered cap and gown from(Jostens) had a package that was just cap, gown and tassel so you may get by with just ordering that. We also got the announcements from them. You can also search online for TONS of companies that you can order the announcements and other things from.

All in all senior year cost us about 650.00 for prom and graduation. That isn't including the party because we chose to do that for her.

Good luck and remember to take time to enjoy the year in the midst of all the stress! It will pass by very quickly!
 

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Thanks, all! DD is actually a frugal kid. She's happy with an inexpensive cocktail style dress when she goes to dances. She wants a certain pair of boots so bad, she said she didn't care about getting new school clothes right away.
But she learned a new frugal trick today...I told her to sign up for emails from the website she wanted the boots from and to Google 'promo codes' for that website and I promised her she'd save at least 20%-30%. Then I told her she could get a new pair of jeans with the savings!
 

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don'r forget to budget for the SAT and ACT and college applications
 

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When DD graduated from high school it was the same story about the pictures - and hers were awful. For her college announcements she used pictures I had taken and then created and printed her own. Don't know what she'll do when she graduated from grad school, but I'm sure she will create her own again.

I think that it has totally gotten out of hand at the high school level, but then I also think that having graduations from preschool is too much!!
 

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Yes-
Senior pictures,home coming,dresses for both w/ shoes and maybe a purse and hair. Renting a limo to split for some.the all night party,the senior picnic,grad.gift, all the somethings for close friends ( a summer interrupted by parties,on and on.

Don't forget all the college admissions fees,the huge list from the college,tuition deposit,a dorm or apt.,books.

I did it in 2009 and will again in 2011.
Don't let them push you. There are consignment places online and store for cheaper dresses,only the yearbook picture must meet their dimensions. You can get the rest anywhere-Walmart??
Call the company that does the cap and gown and order direct. I doubt you have to buy their invites and such. Print your own. Rent a boys tux? Have the party at the beach w/ pizza?
We didn't buy the pictures or have a party. We are not super social and have sm. families. We got her a $650. HP computer and a celeb dinner.
If you do get pro photoes get 1 pose not several w/ diff outfits. Around here people are doubling up where 2 friends have the party together to save on everything incl. equip. rental.
Just a few ideas. But there are ways to cut back.
 

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don'r forget to budget for the SAT and ACT and college applications
Great point. You are so right.

We spent a few hundred dollars on ACT fees, SAT fees, study courses and the like. But, we did all of that sophomore and junior years. SAT has to be taken by fall of the junior year to qualify for National Merit Scholarship. Because most of the scholarships from various universities have early deadlines for applications (around December of senior year), DD started taking the ACT in 10th grade. She took it two more times through her junior year until she reached the score needed for full tuition and room/board scholarships at many of the universities she is looking at.

Over this summer we have been applying to several universities. A few have had free applications. But, the fees for most have ranged from $25-$300 each.

Most colleges DD has applied to have had an application deadline around December, so don't delay.
 

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Fortunately both mine are doing frugal Comm Coll. and then univ.
And i don't remember why but our school paid for one of them ACT I think.

It should be interesting to see if DS is cheaper than DD. He has much less interest in the partying aspect and may not even do senior pictures??
 

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been thru it with the older two- i just do what i cant change and budget for it and save where i can .
i was able to get my middle sons class ring for 1/2 the price the school wanted with activities he actually did on them - they get their class rings in october after a special mass blessing them and a dance.

my older dd i used another online store for hers and saved alot .

my sons came in a month - it looks great !! we have it safely put away until they collect the ones bought elsewhere for the mass.
 

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I had to buy my own yearbook and class ring, as well as pay for my own prom costs: dress, tickets, limo, etc. My parents covered cap and gown and SAT admissions, but I worked and paid for the rest. Are you asking your kids to contribute? Ours will definitely be helping to pay when they are seniors.
 

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For the senior pictures. . . we also had to use the selected photographer for the yearbook (no charge for that). . . but we only let them take the picture for the yearbook. . . we actually went elsewhere for the pictures to swap.
 

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DD will be a senior this year and has already taken the ACT but might take it again. They already did their senior pictures at the first part of the summer and I think that is too early. Her braces comes off in a few weeks, so that was a bummer.

The yearbook and ring we will probably go half on or her dad will cover that. She is high maintenance so she will be covering prom and all the dances. lol She has always bought her own dresses. Of course we will buy the cap and gown.
 

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I worked a lot in high school, an afternoon part time job and a huge amount of babysitting. Before my senior year started, my mom took me down to the bank and we set up a checking account for me (I think her name had to be on the account too since I was under 18). All these great senior things had to be paid out of my own checking account. It was my first real lesson on managing a budget and planning purchases. It quickly put an end to blowing money at the mall, and I even managed to take a school sponsored trip to the USSR, trip of a lifetime. For savings, I agree about the pictures, I also borrowed a cap and gown from a friend who graduated the year before, as well as another friends prom dress.
 

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This crap is why when I graduated, I took my diploma and ran.

No ceremony, they had a blank spot above my name in yearbook, etc.

But then, I hated high school with an unholy hate. Loathed it. Moved 8 hours away.

So that might not work for you guys. ;)
 

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The only ring I own or ever have owned is the sweet yellow gold / textured platinum job when I became a husband. Maybe I would have thought about a class ring if I went to a service academy or an Ivy League.

Maybe the senior year cost would make a good paper topic for economics class regarding the utter failure of the Sherman Anti-trust Act for all of your senior year children. :)
 
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