Seniors Weigh Sentimentality, Price in Decision to Buy Class Ring

NYU’s class ring starts at $429. The price is comparable to other universities, but many seniors think it is still too high.

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NYU class rings are displayed in the NYU Bookstore. Each one retails for around $400. (Photo by Talia Rose Barton)

By Alexandria Johnson , Deputy News Editor

As their last year at NYU begins, seniors will have to decide whether or not to dish out hundreds of dollars to immortalize their time here in the form of a purple-emblazoned class ring.

The university currently uses two vendors for class rings: Balfour and Herff Jones. Balfour has the cheapest option, The NYU Executive ring, which starts at a hefty $429. The most expensive option weighs in at $1,518.

CAS senior Kennedy VanPelt said she is less than enthused by prices.

“That is absolutely outrageous,” VanPelt said. “One of the most ridiculous things I’ve heard, but it matches NYU’s price point.”

Rings are made from five types of metals (argentium silver, celestrium, rose gold, yellow gold and white gold) and three levels of purity (10-karat, 14-karat and 18-karat gold). Herff Jones offers comparable prices — their rings range from $464 to $1,048.

At other universities, the prices are not too different. Besides John Jay College, which offers a $250 ring option, Princeton starts at $400, Columbia starts at $429, Fordham starts at $574 and the University of Southern California starts at $565.

Still, Stern senior Maura Leichliter worries the price would not allow lower-income students to purchase the ring but said she’s planning on buying it herself.

“It’s really expensive and not inclusive to people who aren’t able to afford it,” Leichliter said. “I’ll probably purchase it because it’s an NYU class ring, but it’s ridiculous.”

CAS senior Amanda McDowell expected NYU’s class ring to be $200. After learning of the actual price, McDowell said students should receive the ring as a gift, considering the price they pay to attend NYU.

“That’s pretty expensive, considering a lot of our money is going toward education,” McDowell said. “The ring is a nice symbol, but it would be nice to have that given to us.”

Stern senior Zac Stern shares a similar sentiment with Leichliter, recognizing that students see the class ring as a reminder of their college experiences.

“The price is steep, but at the end of the day they’ll want to buy it because it signifies their education here,” Stern said.

Additional reporting by Tony Ferrara. Email Alex Johnson at [email protected].