Facts and figures about college graduation season

How the state’s 100,000+ graduating seniors and their proud families will contribute to the local economy this season.


When the skies fill with flying mortar boards, the annual commencement crush is upon us.

> April 23 — Start of this year’s commencement season with Wentworth Institute of Technology’s ceremony

> June 18 — End of this year’s commencement season, with Mass. Maritime Academy’s ceremony

> 100,000+ — Students graduating this year from Massachusetts public and private colleges

> 25 — Colleges holding commencement during the period May 13 to 16, the most in one weekend this spring; they range from Babson to Worcester State

> 350,000 — Visitors that commencement season brings to Massachusetts

> 100,000 — Hotel-room nights booked around the state for commencement season


> 500,000 — Meals consumed by visiting commencement guests and students at Mass. restaurants

> 365 — Number of commencement ceremonies held at Harvard, as of this year; the first was in 1642

> 6 — Number of years it took the nine members of Harvard’s first class to graduate

Over three days, Boston University’s 2015 commencement guests consumed:

> 33,500 finger sandwiches

> 53,787 hors d’oeuvres

> 5,700 dozen cookies

> 4,000 dozen scones and muffins

“My dad never went to college, so it was real important that I go. So I graduate, I call him up long distance, I say, ‘Dad, now what?’ He says, ‘Get a job.’” — Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden in Fight Club

Sources: Association of Independent Colleges & Universities in Massachusetts; Massachusetts Department of Higher Education; Boston University; Harvard University; Wentworth Institute of Technology; Mass. Maritime Academy