Omaha metro schools, alumni help with rising cap and gown costs

WOWT Live at 10
Published: Apr. 4, 2022 at 10:54 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The high prices we’re paying are putting pressure on families in ways they aren’t prepared for.

With graduations approaching, some parents worry they won’t be able to foot the bill for the cap and gown.

It turns out even a day to celebrate, like high school graduation, isn’t immune to supply chain shortages and inflation.

Cap and gown and tassel, required to walk for your diploma, costs between $60 and $75 dollars in the metro. At Omaha South High School, the least expensive package through the only school-approved provider, Jostens, is $77.95.

”It was posted on the South Omaha Alumni Facebook page, several posts, that students were having difficult times paying for cap and gown,” said Ron Hug, an Omaha South High School alumnus. “The past couple of years have been pretty rough for everybody.”

So Ron created a GoFundMe page, and within days they’ve raised more than $2,000 for Omaha South H.S. students’ cap and gown needs.

”People care,” Hug said. “I would like to think moving forward we could get past this graduation, that maybe we could have a permanent fund in place, not only to help students with graduation, but maybe we could have a permanent fund, not only to be able to help students with an activity fee or some school function they couldn’t afford, maybe we could help them out with that in the future.”

We reached out to Omaha Public Schools and were told that while schools don’t have a specific application or form to fill out for help with graduation, each school makes caps and gowns available to those who need them.

In fact, Papillion La Vista Community Schools district communications director Annette Eyman said that the state has guidelines in place to assure students who need the help can get it.

“High prices have impacted odd things, and I think caps and gowns are one of those things the prices of have increased significantly,” Eyman said. “So we’re absolutely prepared, just like all school districts are prepared, to make sure that any student that needs assistance to make sure they’re provided that assistance and that they have an amazing graduation.”

As for the high price, Hug and others have asked why colleges and universities can offer their cap and gown packages at significantly less.

Metro Community College, for example, sells theirs through the on-campus bookstore for roughly half what the high schools are paying. We’re told it’s because a college bookstore, can buy in bulk and store the inventory, something that isn’t practical for most high schools to manage.

Copyright 2022 WOWT. All rights reserved.