Why Are Graduation Robes So Expensive?

Graduation is the successful fulfillment of a course study at any of the levels of education – college, high school, or university. Graduations are a one-time celebration that many students ensure that they do not miss, but this means a lot of expenses. Recently, many parents and students have been raising the issue of the cost of graduation robes. 

According to them, graduation robes are too pricey. And they need to know why they would be spending that much on a robe. Seeing the number of people interested in this, I decided to provide answers in this article based on diverse schools’ points of view.

So, “Why Are Graduation Robes So Expensive? Graduation robes are so expensive because the demand is very inelastic. According to the economy, when you have inelastic demand, prices are bound to increase. Technically, inelastic demand transpires when a specific good lacks a sufficient alternative and exemplifies a necessity. 

In this case, graduation robes are of necessity, and of course, it doesn’t have a substitute. Since it is a one-time celebration, the school informs you that you have to put on a graduation robe to walk. 

Many schools go to the extent of telling you the actual type of robe to purchase or rent (if you’re renting). Companies or brands that sell these robes know that you have no choice but to buy the robe, so they fix the price as they want. 

Moving forward, some schools have the graduation robe designed equally, so in this case, you could say you’re paying the amount you were told to pay because the robe is yours to keep. 

What is the significance of graduation robes?

Have you ever wondered about the significance of a graduation robe? Perhaps you have thought that students could graduate without wearing graduation gowns. 

Well, I have thought the same way too. But it turned out that graduation gowns have significant meanings. So, for you to know about the significance of these robes, I’d mention them below.

Here is the significance of graduation robes:

  • They are worn to signify status.
  • Exemplifies how special the day is.

They are worn to signify status 

The invention of universities commenced in the 11th century. And the first university was established in Italy, Bologna, in 1088. In the community where this university and other universities (that were established after it) were built, many people weren’t so associated with what university was like. 

So, the professors chose to put on this gown for quick identification of status. At this particular time, they were not referred to as graduation gowns. They were professors’ robes. 

Exemplifies how special the day is

After the civil conflict, the United States began relinquishing a lot of the beliefs that were brought into the nation by the colonizers. At this period, the decision was made that the graduation gowns and caps that were worn by professors should be set aside. 

So, instead of doing away with them completely, they were saved for graduates to wear. That is why you only see the sight of them during the special day for students – graduating from school. Over time, the style or look of these gowns didn’t change, it was just a few changes of colors depending on the school and degree.

Trending Searches

Do you have to pay for graduation gowns?

Yes, you have to pay for graduation gowns. Whether you are buying or renting, you have to make payments. When it comes to graduation in school, you can’t graduate without putting on the robe. It is more like a must, so you have to be prepared for it. 

No doubt, these gowns – including the caps, are expensive. But most universities add the payment for these gowns to the tuition fee paid. That way, the student won’t have to worry about the payment during the graduation period. 

However, most schools that do not add the payment to school fees or that do not offer the bargain of these gowns instruct the graduating students on the type of gown they are to purchase. Many students ensure that they purchase or rent the robe before the season of graduation, that way it will be cheaper to acquire. 

What should I do with my graduation robe?

A graduation is a one-time event, yet memorable. A lot of people choose to either rent or buy their graduation gowns. Those that rented theirs ensure that they return it to the store that the gown was lent from. 

But those that purchased their own gowns are often clueless about what they should do with the gown after graduation. Thus, in the segment, I will share with you various tips on what to do with your graduation robe.

Below are what you should do with your gown:

  • Donate it.
  • Safely keep it. 

Donate it 

Donating your graduation gown is one of the best options, instead of tossing them away. Graduation robes cannot be recycled due to the polyester fabric that was employed to tailor them. 

Donating the gown to any donation store like the salvation army, or you can contact your school to know if they offer rental programs. If they do, you should donate, so it will be of great use to those that prefer to rent rather than buy. 

Plus, if you donate to any donation store, you could get a receipt that will save you from paying taxes. 

Safely keep it

As aforementioned – probably twice or thrice, graduation is a one-time event that occurs after finishing a degree successfully. If you don’t like the choice of donation, you can keep it. It could be used as a form of memory. 

For instance, when telling your kids or younger relatives about your experience in school and other events you had, you could show the gown to them, so they can see what your graduation gown looks like.

Aside from that, keeping it will always remind you of the days in school and the graduation season. I am pretty sure you’d be happy to do this. 

Is it better to rent or buy graduation gowns?

It is better to buy graduation robes. However, renting them isn’t bad either. The two processes of acquiring your graduation gown are good, but they both have advantages and disadvantages. Thus, to help you select the best process, I’d discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each way of getting the robe. 



  • The cost is not so pricey.
  • Easy return.


  • Loss of order.
  • Worries about the availability of the gown.


  • Immediate attendant.
  • All other variables such as delivery are in total control.


  • Very pricey.
  • Worries about what to do with the gown afterward. 


Are there different graduation robes?

Of course, they are different graduation gowns. These gowns are different based on the level of education (degree). The colors and the styles are often different. 

Here are the diverse graduation gowns:

  • High school graduation robes.
  • Bachelor’s degree robes.
  • Master’s degree robes.
  • Doctoral robes.

High school graduation robes 

This robe is often in the color of the school. Plus, it doesn’t have hoods or collars, as there are no specific requirements for this degree’s robe. 

Bachelor’s degree robes 

After high school, the learning continues up to college or university. This time you’d be studying a BSc course, and after three to four years, you’d have to graduate. The gown for this degree is often similar to the one you wore during your high school graduation, it just has a little bit of touch. And they are usually black.

Master’s degree robes 

When done with college, you might decide to furthermore, so you could learn more about your course study. This is where you’d be dealing with a different type of learning system, as you would be open to new things. Then, after a year or two, you’d be graduating. 

However, your robe would be totally different from how it was when graduating from college. There are often specific requirements such as the black robe must be with hoods and the sleeves must be reaching your wrist. 

Doctoral robes 

Doctoral degrees are often a choice and the robe for this degree is usually more elaborate than other degrees’ robes. The requirements are often detailed and must be followed. The robe must come with a velvet panel around the neck region, draping at the front of the gown. 

The panels are often accentuated with either a single or dual row of piping. The sleeves are often very full with three stripes similar to the one on the velvet panel. These robes also have pockets. 

Conclusion – Why Are Graduation Robes So Expensive?

Graduation robes are pricey because of the high demand. Students that would be present during the graduation are instructed to put on these robes to walk. And because it is an inelastic demand, the price can be increased by the sellers. 

In the case of acquiring a graduation robe, you either rent or purchase – depending on which you can afford. However, I’d advise that you purchase the robe before the graduation season, as it would be cheaper. 

Leave a Comment