UC Berkeley charges students to attend their own graduation

Katherine Timpf

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  • Students who don't purchase by Wednesday will be unable to attend their own commencement.
  • House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D) is slated to speak.
  • The University of California - Berkeley makes its students pay to attend their own graduation ceremony.

    Students who do not purchase the $10 tickets by Wednesday will not be able to attend their own commencement, according to the school’s official website.

    Tickets for guests are also $10.

    “[The money is] to absorb the cost of commencement,” Lila Blanco, director of external relations and the Office of Protocol at the university, said in an interview with The Daily Californian, the school’s official newspaper.

    “It’s huge,” she added.

    This features of this year’s ceremony will include food, flowers, snacks for kids, and a keynote address by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

    After this story's initial publication, Rep. Pelosi's office told Campus Reform that she is not being compensated for speaking.

    Students will not have their names read off at the ceremony.

    “We encourage you to participate in your department graduation ceremony where graduate names are read and awards are recognized,” the school website advises.

    The departmental ceremonies are free for the graduates themselves, but the graduates’ guests still must pay to attend.

    But this policy is not new. Blanco told the Californian that it has been in effect since she started working at Berkeley 10 years ago.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter @kctimpf

    Katherine Timpf

    Katherine Timpf


    Katherine Timpf is a columnist at Campus Reform. Previously, Timpf worked as a reporter, web editor, and radio personality at The Washington Times. She was also an anchor for NASA's alternative radio station, Third Rock Radio.

    Timpf has appeared on national television news shows, including  America Live with Megyn Kelly and Fox and Friends, and her stories have been featured on several national news outlets, including the Drudge Report. She has been an op ed contributor to publications including the Orange County Register and Investor's Business Daily.

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