Grad fee covers diploma cost

steve.puroll and steve.puroll

NMU students who’ve paid for and completed all their classes will have one more charge before they leave Northern — a $15 graduation fee.

“It’s like buying a car and hearing that all you have to do is buy a $15 key and you’re all set,” said Adam Covert, a senior construction management major.

The fee covers the cost of the diploma, including the diploma cover and the shipping, said Sara Niemi, assistant registrar.

“It’s been $15 for years,” Niemi said. “I think our cost is minimal compared to other schools. There’s no profit being made off of it.”

The University of Michigan provides free diplomas to students upon graduation, but charges $15 for replacements. Western Michigan University charges $45 to audit students’ graduation applications and $35 for duplicate diplomas, while Central Michigan University charges $50 for first-time audits, $25 for subsequent audits and $20 for replacement diplomas, according to the schools’ Web sites.

In addition to the diploma cost, Northern students choosing to walk in the graduation ceremony will be charged $23.75 for their cap, gown, and tassel. The ceremony is not mandatory but many students choose to participate anyway, said Niemi, who cited family pressure, camaraderie, and personal interest as reasons for participation.

“I owe it to myself and my parents (to participate in the ceremony), and it offers a little closure,” Covert said.

Students planning to graduate in December 2007 must register before Thursday, Aug. 30. The $15 fee will be charged when students register.

Niemi said students need to register before the deadline, in case they have to make adjustments to their schedules before their final semester.

Students who believe they are qualified to graduate in May 2007 but who haven’t yet registered should contact the Degree Audit office at 227-2257.