15 or college?

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15 or college?

Jasmine Gonzalez and Leonel Zavala

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Jasmine Gonzales ~ Staff Writer

Many hispanic girls await the day they will celebrate their 15th birthday with a special event widely known as the “Quinceanera.” A lot of planning and preparation goes into it, as well as a lot of money being spent to have it. It’s a ceremony of sorts to transition to becoming a woman. However, is it worth it to spend all that money when it could be used towards the girl’s college education instead?

On average a quinceanera can cost between $5,000 to $20,000. That money is spent on the venue, the food, a dress, a tiara, hair, and makeup. Money can also be spent on invitations, decorations, a choreographer, a dj, and a lot more. A lot of time may also be put into planning it. Planning can start as early as when the girl is baptized, which is usually done at a very young age. A lot of money is also spent by people participating for their outfits. Other family members may contribute money for the quinceanera too.

Depending on the type of college you go to, the prices will differentiate. Community college is generally the most affordable option. The average cost for a year of tuition in a community college is almost $5,000, depending on how many classes you take. If this price range were the same for the next year around $10,000 dollars would be spent on two-years worth of tuition. That could get someone an associates degree and is also within the average cost of a quinceanera. For a residential 4-year public university, the cost is, on average, almost $10,000 dollars. While a whole four years at that type of college will not be fully covered if you saved up that money for it instead of the quinceanera, it would still pay off a good portion of it, especially if the family spends on the higher end of the spectrum for the quinceanera.

All in all, if someone plans to continue their education after high school and hasn’t had their quinceanera yet should consider talking to their family about it so that the money they spend could potentially go towards their college education instead.

 

Leonel Zavala ~ Staff Writer

One of the most followed Latino traditions is the “Quinceanera.” It is a very costly celebration of a Latina girl’s 15th birthday, marking her passage from girlhood to womanhood. The downside for most families however, are the ridiculous prices.

From the food to the dress, not many Latino families in the United States are financially capable of paying up to $20,000 for this one time celebration. But why do all that when you could just spend a couple bucks on a bouncy house at a public park, with most of the party stuff being bought at the dollar store? Or a group of Hispanic families in San Diego could join forces, assist each other, making the cost to plummet, and have a huge celebration with all their quinceaneras all in one.

I think we should look at the opportunity cost rather than living in the moment, and instead invest that money into going to college. Also, not every girl likes to be the center of attention, and dance in front of hundreds of other strangers her parents invite. What if you can’t dance? Do you spend hours upon hours understanding your dancing routines? Some wouldn’t even be matured by 15.

I think a smaller, more a affordable party, spending about $2,000 and investing the rest for college, would be a more clever choice. But yeah, I can see why this tradition is very important to the 15 year old, especially the families, since many other cultures do similar celbrations such as Jewish families with their bar mitzvahs, or the Americanized version of a “Quince,” the sweet 16, just a little bit more spoiled. Either way, every culture has their own unique tradition.

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