Graduation is a scam.

Applying for an undergraduate degree at UM costs $40. That’s the short narrative.

If a student happens to be getting a second degree, which students with two majors can opt into after surpassing the 150-credit threshold, that student pays the $40 fee again.

And if a student happens to be completing one of UM’s 79 certificate programs, that student pays the $40 fee, again.

Why is UM financially penalizing students who are doing more than one major? We all know that extra piece of paper didn’t cost $40 to make, and shouldn’t we
be rewarding students for going above and beyond?

Apparently, the additional $16,786 it would cost a student taking 15 credits per semester, on average, to complete another year of school and snag a second degree, is not enough.

This, of course, does not include the graduation cap and gown, tassel, ropes, sash and diploma frames that add to the ever-growing bill for getting a goddamn piece of paper with two letters on it.

And it doesn’t stop there. After Nov. 8, each one of these applications will accumulate another $15 late fee.

The only saving grace is that students don’t have to pay more for getting a minor. You heard it here, folks. Get minors, not majors.

Maybe there’s a reason the six-year graduation rate at UM is 10% lower than the national average for four-year institutions, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Maybe it’s because students can’t afford to cough up $40, at minimum, just to get what we already paid for.

In case UM administrators have forgotten, in-state students have paid about $30,000 and out-of-state students have paid about $105,000 in tuition and fees over 4 years, with full-time enrollment status. And don’t forget — most students need more than 4 years to finish their degrees.

As those students who have poured thousands and thousands of dollars into this institution for a piece of paper, we don’t owe UM anything else.