I think its an excellent idea to have a big party everyone can go to, to meet each others friends and families. My parents asked to meet everyone. However, GW gives you 6 tickets to graduation so they expect you to have that many people in town. One student = $45. Plus 6 x $55 = $330. Grand total = $375 for an event with a cash bar on graduation weekend. Also, since students will want to go out without parents afterwards most likely, spending almost 400 bucks on a cocktail hour seems unimaginable.
In the midst of a recession, I don't think it was right for GW to charge to so much. Give people a place to go and dress up but foot the bill! GW students pay for every single thing they do and they pay a lot. It is not out of line for GW to make its "Monumental Celebration" something a little more affordable. I did not go because of its price and the fact that my friends were not going, because of its price. Its a cycle that GW caused and will cause the event to fail again if GW does not fix this.