By Jono Vincent
Public high schools (like Beaverton High) may not charge tuition, but they are by no means free. Athletics fees, overpriced lunches, sporting event admissions, and now even technology insurance all add up, and over the course of the four years that any one student is enrolled here, they will almost pay enough in fees to go to Jesuit for a year.
However, there are ways of mitigating or even altogether sidestepping the amount of money that you might have to pay over the course of your stay at Beaverton High School. Over the last four years, “deals” have emerged: Classes offering certain privileges, earlybird discounts, and others of the like, are exactly what I would like to share with you today.
1. The ‘Early Bird’ discounts
Here are the two big ones: Yearbook and Grad Party. These are the things that buying them well in advance can save you a ton of money. For obvious reasons, these aren’t very well announced in their first and cheapest period, so you have to be on it at the beginning of the year.
For seniors, your grad party ticket is only $40 dollars before October 1st [as was the case this year], then $50 before January 1st, when it goes up to $75, which is how much it was when I FOUND OUT WE HAD A GRAD NIGHT PARTY.
For everybody, the yearbook is $55 during the first semester, then goes up $10 at the beginning of the second. This isn’t much of a change, but $10 can make a big difference for many families.
2. ASB is totally a good deal if…
…you go to more than four sporting events. It seems easy, but plenty of people swing $20 at Beaver Day, then go to only two or three events. If you are a spirited Beaverton sports spectator, ASB is an awesome deal. You get into sports for free (at most schools), and reduced prices for theater shows.
*Pro tip: If you didn’t buy ASB at the beginning of the year but happen to have an old Student ID that does have it, show that to get into away games. Those are parent volunteers, they don’t know a 2013-2014 BHS ID from a 2017-2017 one. Probably shouldn’t have said that…
3. Newspaper sports photographers get into everything for free
Well, not everything. But if you forecast to take Newspaper, try to get in on those benefits. You get a flashy ID which you can use in many situations, and if you have a purpose to be at sporting events (like taking pictures for articles), you can get in for free. Anywhere.
4. Go early to Booster Club sponsored events
Beaverton has a fantastic booster club. It is simply the best. These are great parent volunteers that pour hours and dollars into making this school exciting, accessible, and equitable. This sometimes means funding the first 50 student seats at the play, like they did for this year’s musical Catch Me if You Can. So if you catch wind that the Booster Club is sponsoring some event, it would be in the best interests of you and your wallet to show up a little early to appreciate all that these people do.
5. Prom court gets into prom for free
Not much more to say here. If you are elected to prom court, you won’t have to pay the recently $35 prom ticket. If anything, that can be reason enough to kiss up to the social hierarchy of high school. Freshman, pick an easy category like imagination and spend the next four years trying to interpret whatever the heck that means and become that prince(ss). Or you could just make sure Mr. Sarmiento likes you. Then you’ll be Renaissance.
Do you really think that 2k17 Prom king Rankin Shum wanted the glory of being king? He just wanted the free ticket. Learn from him.
6. Not offered? Study independently!
Beaverton High offers “Independent Studies,” which allow you to focus on any material that a) doesn’t fit in with your schedule or b) isn’t offered at the school. You submit a proposal for the course material you will study, get sponsored by a teacher who will administer improvised evaluations, and bam: Library time to study something custom tailored to your learning style, while getting credit!
7. Channel your inner Ferris Bueller
Here’s where I go off the reservation, so to speak. This year alone, there have been countless opportunities to exploit a loophole that I would not have otherwise seen had I not seen any pre-1990 Matthew Broderick film ever.
What? You can’t take your backpacks to the playoffs? Give me $5 and your address, and your backpack will be waiting for you when you get home.
Say, you want to go to prom but aren’t a senior? Give me your money for a prom ticket (plus a small labor fee), and I will buy your ticket for you.
Those black chairs in the library by the photocopiers actually cost $79, and are only held together by a bunch of allen screws. I had a plan to bring in an allen wrench and spend one of my Independent Study periods disassembling it and hiding the parts under those book cases in the back where the encyclopedias are, and remove a piece day-by-day until it was fully assembled in my living room. Perhaps I blew my cover, but those are the lengths I am willing to go to get the most out of high school.
– I wasn’t kidding. These chairs are actually almost $80. I would never pay so much for a chair like this, especially because “poäng” is just Swedish for ‘point,’ so that is all the more reason to plot to steal it…
So, there are plenty of opportunities to get out there and either save more, or make some of your own. The staff here is great, so whatever you lean on for an advantage, make sure the only person that can get in trouble is you.
I will leave you with a link to a story from a 17 year-old who snuck past security into the South Carolina Democratic Debate and met Hillary Clinton on live TV.
Thanks for reading.