Senior Expenses

Class of 2012,
Here is a list of some expenses that you will have as a senior next year and a list of things that you will need to accomplish before graduation.  Some of these are mandatory and some are optional.  It’s a good idea to keep these expenses in mind when you are deciding how best to spend or save your summer paychecks. 

Pictures and DVD’s:

Yearbook Pictures:  Always in the past, your yearbook picture has been one picture snapped during school in a line of 2000 other people getting their pictures taken.  The photographer has spent about one minute positioning you and snapping your portrait.  You were never charged for a sitting fee; you were never charged to be in the yearbook; you only paid if you actually bought some of the pictures.  Senior year is different.  You get a portrait session during the summer that can last up to half an hour.  In some pictures you wear a formal drape or tux top provided by the photography company.  In other pictures, you wear outfits of your own choice.  There are props and backdrops involved.  You are required to pay a fee for this photo session; usually it is about $25.  Proofs will be sent to your home later; you will need to follow the directions to choose which picture you would like placed in the yearbook and to order any pictures that your family would like to purchase at an additional cost.

Cap and Gown Pictures:  The picture company will return to school in the spring to take pictures of you in your cap and gown.  These pictures are after school and are completely optional.  Only sign up for these pictures if your family wishes to purchase them.

Graduation Pictures:  There is a company who attends graduation and snaps a picture of you right after you receive your diploma.  Proofs of these pictures are sent to your home a few weeks after graduation, and families are welcome to purchase them.  We hire the company to take these pictures because friends and family are NOT permitted on the floor of the arena to get these close-ups.

Graduation DVD:  The school creates a DVD of graduation.  It is available through pre-sales and will be sent to you several weeks after the ceremony.

Yearbook:  Don’t forget to save some money to purchase the yearbook that covers your senior year.
Yearbook Ads:  Family and friends are permitted to purchase an "ad" in the yearbook to honor a senior.  Ads can contain pictures and memories.  Information about purchasing these ads was given to students in May of their junior year.  For questions about ads, email

College Test and Entrance Fees:

SAT/ACT:  Both of these college entrance tests have fees attached to them.  See their respective websites for details.  Fees are less expensive if paid by the earliest deadlines, so plan ahead to save money.  See for information about the SAT and  for information about the ACT.

Transcripts:  Some colleges will accept an electronic version of your transcript that can be downloaded into your Gacollege411 account.  Other schools require a sealed transcript sent from the school’s Guidance Office.  The fee for each transcript is $5.00, and they must be ordered 48 hours in advance.

Application Fees:  Colleges charge a fee to process your application and decide whether to accept you or not.  This means you want to limit the number of colleges to which you apply, so do some careful research while you have time over the summer.  The fee for each college varies, so see their individual websites for specific information.

College Deposits/Down payments:  In the spring, colleges will ask you for some kind of deposit or down payment to secure your spot at that school.  You only pay this to the college you are actually going to attend.  Failure to pay your deposit means that your spot will be given to somebody on that college’s wait list.

Class Dues: 

Junior Dues:  Junior dues pay for prom, so if you did not pay these dues during your junior year, and you wish to attend your senior prom, you must see Mr. Stewart in the Media Center to pay for this.

Senior Dues:  Senior dues are approximately $105.  When you pay for you senior dues in the fall, you will be asked your height and weight; Balfour uses these measurements to determine the size of your cap and gown.  Senior dues pays for your cap, gown, diploma cover, senior breakfast, senior luncheon, senior ice cream and karaoke social, senior t-shirts, your part in renting the Gwinnett Arena for the graduation ceremony, and other various odds and ends.  Senior dues are required.

Additional Purchases:

Class Ring:  If you did not order a class ring when you were a junior but decide that you want one, you can still purchase one from Balfour.

Graduation Announcements:  Graduation Announcements are cards to send to friends and family ANNOUNCING that you are graduating from high school.  (This is NOT the same as an INVITATION to graduation.  Guests enter the graduation arena with TICKETS that are given to the students at graduation practice at the end of the year.)  Announcements can be ordered anytime from October to February and are delivered to the school in April just in time to send out for graduation.

Things to DO during senior year:

  1.  Fill out a Senior Profile form and turn it in to the counseling office.  Teachers and coaches then have access to this form.  It is a GREAT help when we are trying to write college and scholarship recommendations for students.  See attachment below!
  2. Fill out college applications and write any required essays.
  3. Fill out scholarship applications and write any required essays.
  4. Keep your Gacollege411 account updated.
  5. Fill out the FAFSA financial aid form and all forms related to the HOPE scholarship.


Barbara Nelson,
May 26, 2011, 6:04 AM