Class Rings Don’t Cut it as Bling

Mehk Sethi, Assistant Editor

Once considered a rite of passage for high school students, wearing a class ring is now almost obsolete. According to Dale Komro, a representative of the popular ring vendor Jostens, two decades ago as many as 65% of sophomores were purchasing class rings compared to the 20% to 30% that do today. This downward trend can be attributed to class rings losing their purpose to today’s high school students. These bands inscribed with the school mascot were used to display school pride and sometimes to indicate that a couple was “going steady.” Now, students are increasingly purchasing other forms of memorabilia to commemorate their high school experience, including spirit wear, varsity jackets, and clothing for clubs and sports.

Another reason for the decrease in the number of class rings bought is economic. Class rings today range from $100 to $1000, depending on how the student decides to customize his or her ring, a huge increase from the basic rings sold in past decades. In addition, Jostens Inc. issued a statement saying that “the difficult economic period had an impact on [their] overall sales.” Besides just the increase in the price of the rings, students now do not see a future for class rings. Many will not wear them in college, but will continue to wear the clothes that represent their high school. Another difference between the students of today and those of generations past is that current students have access to more technology, which they are more likely to need in college and other future endeavors. Money once spent on class rings is now allocated to pay pay for smartphones, tablets, or laptops – options that students did not have in past decades.

These days, class rings don’t cut it as bling.