Nothing is really free in life – including graduation.

In order to walk across the stage and officially graduate, students are required to apply and pay a $25 fee. Applications open the semester before a student plans to graduate, and the applications for Spring 2017 graduates opened Sept. 1.

Some students, however, said they feel uneasy about the fee, and even said it seems "unfair."

"We pay all of this money to go here and pay tuition and all of these other little fees everywhere all the time," senior biology major Sam Wright said. "Why do we have to jump through another hoop and pay for this, too?"

The fee is assessed for each degree a student is expected to receive. For students who majored in two areas, this means they'll be charged for both degrees.

According to Ball State’s website, the charge is used to defray the cost of reviewing the candidate's academic record and diploma production.

Nancy Cronk, who works in the office of the registrar, said the fee also helps pay for the graduation ceremony.

Senior education major Mitch Baylor said he doesn't think students who qualify to graduate should have to pay for their accomplishments, but for such a small amount, he likely won't make much of a fuss.

"It's not a huge deal to me, but at the same time, it's like, I got all the way to this point and the university kind of gets that last little bit of money out of us," Baylor said. "I mean, it is only $25, so if we're going to make a big deal about that, then there are a lot of things we could be getting upset about. But it's not worth it – it's just part of the process, I guess."

The deadline for applying to graduate online is the second course withdrawal period, according to If students don’t submit the application prior to the beginning of their last term, it could mean that it will not be reviewed in time for them to be notified of any problems prior to the beginning of their last term.