By Published On: June 2, 2018

Graduating from high school is a milestone in a person’s life. Not only does it signify the completion of several years of education, but it is also a transition from childhood to adulthood.

Kids are moving into the next phase of their life, whether it be furthering their education, learning a trade or securing a full-time employment. It is cause for celebration.

As the parent of a graduating senior, my brain is preoccupied with graduation events and the ensuing celebration – the graduation party. My project management skills are in high gear with planning and preparations and my checking account is getting quite a workout as well. This got me thinking about graduation from a business and marketing perspective. How much money does everyone spend on graduation? And, when did this turn into such an elaborate event?

I fired up the Google machine to do some research. Here is what I found regarding typical costs:

  • Graduation announcements – $20 – $200
  • Cap and gown – $20 – $55
  • Senior portraits – $100 – $3,000
  • Yearbooks – $30 – $90
  • Graduation party – $200 – $3,000+

Just why have graduation parties become so expensive? Here is a little insight:


Then – parent’s house or backyard
Now – parent’s house or backyard and rented spaces for events/receptions


Then – mowing the lawn and cleaning
Now – mowing the lawn and cleaning. Updating decks or driveways, remodeling rooms or other significant home improvement projects.


Then – homemade food prepared and served by family members
Now – catered food and specialty food vendors


Then – food and disposable plates and utensils
Now – Elaborate, themed party decorations. Pictures and custom printed items.


Then – conversation
Now – bands or DJs, photo booths and other specialty entertainment

If you are a marketer, don’t overlook graduation as an opportunity to promote your products or services or incorporate it in your marketing message. If you are a parent, well, I’m sorry. And if you are an invited guest, sit back and enjoy the party!



About the Author: Sheryl Doyle

Sheryl Doyle
A problem solver by nature, Sheryl loves working with clients to solve a tough marketing challenge. She gets to the heart of it by first uncovering their real business needs and then works to develop marketing-based solutions. As if they were an extension of her family, she strongly advocates for her clients and keeps their best interests at heart. With her broad base of marketing knowledge and experience, ability to see the big picture, and knack for managing the details, Sheryl marshals the right resources and confidently wrangles the process to ensure a successful outcome every time.
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