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Risky Business: CofC students trading graduation tickets for cash

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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Once upon a time, life as a college student was synonymous with having a "limited" income.  Thanks, in part, to a growing trend at universities like The College of Charleston, graduating seniors are cashing in on their way out.

An online search of Craig's List yielded an overwhelming response for buyers and sellers, seeking a ticket to the May 11th CofC graduation.  Most retailed under $300 for a set of two tickets, with the high-end reaching $1500 for four.

"That's a down payment on a car, or the start of a new life.," said CofC senior Alexander McMahan.

In response to growing concerns over the online ticket sales, Interim University Student of Affairs Vice President Dr. Jeri Cabot issued the following email:

Dear Students:

I am writing about reported incidents of students scalping graduation tickets and to remind you about relevant state law.  While there is no monetary value associated with our graduation tickets, the sale of these tickets is still considered scalping, and the College does not condone or endorse the sale of graduation tickets.  South Carolina law (Section 16-17-710) restricts the charge for a ticket for admission to any event to no more than one dollar above the price charged by the original seller/dispenser.  Therefore,  students can legally receive only $1 for each graduation ticket they do not plan to use. 

It is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct to allegedly violate or violate federal, state or local law.  Please be aware that the range of sanctions varies according to the nature of the Code violation and for matters involving the illegal selling of graduation tickets your participation in the graduation-related activities and/or timely receipt of your diploma could be at stake. 

Congratulations on your forthcoming graduation.

For university students like Denee Waters, a junior-transfer from Philadelphia, their real value is priceless.

I just think that's ridiculous," she said.  "To think that you would try to profit off an event that you worked so hard for just to put a tag on it."

"It is for me,"  added McMahan.  "I would rather people that have invested in me to come and celebrate my education."

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