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(Chicago Defender) — Thousands of students graduated from Illinois’ public universities this spring – the culmination of years of work, countless hours and often sizable expenses, all spent in the name of furthering education.

But a final round of tuition payment isn’t the only expense many graduates faced before collecting their diplomas: Roughly half of Illinois’ public universities charged students for caps, gowns, tassels and other apparel at higher rates than the original cost to the schools.

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