VHHS takes chunk of wallet


Amber Heier (12) tries to hold her expenses

Welcome to VHHS: where we offer a lot of opportunities, but these opportunities come at a high price. You want to take a business class? $10 please.You want to take a consumer class? $20 please. Although there are some reasonable fees for things like yearbooks, (which aren’t cheap either), a lot of the things students have to pay for are outstanding.

For instance, we have to pay $50 per year, depending on your graduation year, for Chromebooks. This year’s seniors have the opportunity to pay the remaining $150 to purchase their Chromebooks, but the freshman class and every preceding class will own the Chromebook at the end of their high school career. It is nice that the school subsidizes a cost of the Chromebook, which is originally around $475, but someone family’s might want to spend this $50+ elsewhere, if they even have the money. As nice as the Chromebooks can be, the school still has the availability of Chromebook carts and desktops.

Adding to the heavy fees are student parking passes, which cost $160, no matter if you have the luxury of the senior lot or the struggle of the junior and sophomore lots. What does not make sense is not only the high cost, but the fact that you even have to pay to park. Also driving wise is the high fee of taking Drivers’ Ed, which most students take, which costs $195. This partially makes sense because of insurance, but that’s still high.

Next on the list is the activity pass, which costs $75. It does get you into sporting events, some plays, and the yearbook, but no musicals, concerts, or dances. Depending how active you are with attending the musicals, concerts, and dances, this could add anywhere from four to 90+ dollars.

Fees that no one can escape are those attached to literature classes. We have all gone through the painful price of book bundles and summer reading, which can be $20+ depending on how many books you need. What happened to class copies of books or being able to check them out from the library? For a school that just had a $4 million tax abatement, this could be a wise area to use that money. If you only needed one book, this would not be so bad, but most classes need three or four books, not including summer reading. The next thing you know, you have just dropped $100 on books you probably do not even like.

Added to these inescapable fees are the gym fees. A gym shirt cost $5 and you can not forget about the heart rate monitors, which have gone up to $15 this year.

Now ,if you are interested in fine arts, these classes seem to have the highest prices attached to them, with woods, drawing, and any AP class costing roughly $25 each.The highest of these classes is AP portfolio, which costs $40. Now add in field trips, which can range anywhere from $20+ depending your class. Once again, you are dropping hundreds of dollars.

Also, specific to seniors are cap and gown fees, which are $40. This $40 is just to rent the cap and gown, because if you would like to purchase these you have to pay a lot more money. This is especially frustrating, because graduating from high school is a big moment in your life and you do not even get to keep a memento for four years of hard work.

There are a few reasonable and understandable fees like losing your ID, late or lost library books, and color wars shirts. These fees make sense because ID and library books are your responsibility to not lose them. For color wars shirts, you do not have to buy them and even then they are only $5 to $10, which is not a lot even over a four-year span.  

Roughly adding all theses together, a student could spend $1000 on all the various fees. The school should take into account the students that cannot necessarily afford all the fees attached to school. Just because they do not have the money for things like taking an elective class, buying a homecoming shirt, going to a dance, or a parking pass does not mean we should deprive them of these things. So, before you think you did not have to worry about money problems before college, think again.