After 12 years of lectures, projects, essays and tests, students are excited to celebrate their momentous feat of high school graduation. Walking across the stage, graduates proudly share their important achievement with family and friends cheering from the stands. But because each senior is given 10 graduation tickets, students with larger families are often disappointed when their loved ones cannot attend the graduation ceremony.
As the end of the school year approaches, seniors frantically take to Twitter, social media, and word-of-mouth looking for extra tickets that they can buy from classmates.
Senior Marvin Gromia recognized the demand for tickets and sold two of his tickets for $5 each.
“I don’t have a big family and not all of them will be able to attend graduation so I have tickets left over,” Gromia said. “Since we get all of the tickets for free, I was able to sell them for pure profit.
“Not to sound selfish, but I saw this as an opportunity to make money, so I took it,” Gromia said.
Because they are in such high demand and there are no rules regulating their sales, students with extra tickets are able to inflate the prices as much as they’d like.
Senior Mercedes Poier comes from a divorced family and both of her parents are remarried. In additional to step-family, Poier also has siblings and grandparents with whom she is very close and would like to invite to the graduation ceremony. She is disappointed that many of her loved ones will not be able to see her receive her diploma simply due to a lack of tickets.
“Blended families are so much more common in today’s society,” Poier said. “The school should find a better way to distribute the grad tickets among the graduating class so everyone is able to get a better amount to what is realistic to their family.”
Although Poier does have the option to try to buy tickets from other seniors, she worries that many students will sell the tickets for higher prices.
“[Students] know that we’re desperate to buy tickets for our families,” Poier said. “We shouldn’t be taken advantage of for wanting to celebrate our achievements with our families.”
The school currently provides 10 tickets per graduate and will not be providing any more. Principal Bill Atterberry explains that in previous years — such as the graduation for the class of 2014 — graduates were given 12 tickets each. Although attendance was closer to the Alex G Spanos Center’s maximum holding capacity, seating was uncomfortable and limited, causing some families and groups to be split up.
“We encourage students to prioritize their tickets and have a graduation party afterwards because not everyone [in their family] is going to be able to make it,” Atterberry said.