It’s almost mid-March, and you know what that means: broke law students are starting to freak out about the costs associated with their upcoming commencement ceremonies.
Most of them have already forked over six figures of government Monopoly money to their law schools, so why on earth are they so concerned about the cost of renting their caps and gowns for graduation?
To be honest, the loan money is starting to run out. While some schools have reasonable rental options (in the $50-$70 range), other schools are foisting very expensive graduation gear upon their graduates in some sort of a “gouge ’em before they go” cash grab.
But how much is too much when it comes to one-day rental prices? Students at one top-tier law school have described what they’re expected to pay as jaw-droppingly “insane”…
Over at Emory Law School, students are being charged out the wazoo — $194 — for the one-day rentals. Student complaints are apparently going ignored by the faculty. Here’s what a current 3L tipster says:
Last year, rentals were around $70, and I even checked other rentals at better schools like University of Michigan, and the rental is only $70. I need some way to shame these greedy people who feel like they can charge us an arm and a leg for “nicer velvet.”
The last time we heard about exorbitant pricing ($136) for graduation rental gear, Elie Mystal saw fit to poke fun at the complaining students: “[S]ome of these kids took on tens of thousands of dollars in order to go to law school, but now — at the end — they’re making a stand over a hundred bucks.” That was back in 2011. Now, in 2014, when law schools are desperately trying to offer up evidence of their commitment to lowering costs for students, an almost $200 dollar rental fee is not just inappropriate, but wildly so.
The way that Emory is trying to con students into paying for their overpriced rentals is almost farcical:
Here is a recent Facebook post from a classmate:
[Lady selling the law school regalia at the graduation fair today, trying to convince me that $194 dollars is a reasonable price for a one-day RENTAL of the cap and gown]: “Honey, trust me – the material on these robes is so nice that you’re going to be glad you spent the money.”
Please help. This is NOT okay.
No, it’s really, really not. According to one soon-to-graduate Emory 3L, this is just “another example of how disconnected the administration is from the students.” We’re inclined to agree wholeheartedly.
In all seriousness, we’ve got to wonder why the school thought this was a good idea, because it surely isn’t a cost efficient one. An Emory Law education costs about $75,894 in tuition, fees, and living expenses each year. Perhaps the administration figured that since everything else was expensive, there was no reason not to top the whole thing off with some luxurious velvet, because, “Honey, trust me — the paper your $227,682 degree is printed on is so nice that you’re going to be glad you spent the money.”
Sorry, Emory Law, but in the wise words of Professor Sara Stadler’s infamous commencement speech, you “have to learn to be a giver, not a taker.” Please, take a moment to stop taking from your students when they’ve almost nothing left to give. The administration has to know that this isn’t right.
But if the powers-that-be don’t know that price-gouging their students once more for old times’ sake is shameless, we’re sorry to say this Emory 3Ls, but maybe graduation gear is cheaper… in Nebraska.