As college commencement approaches, you may be eagerly thinking about tossing that cap in the air and receiving your diploma. Don't forget to take all necessary steps before graduation day. Here are some typical requirements to take care of.
Complete all coursework and departmental graduation requirements for your degree.
This one seems obvious, but check with your academic adviser or the online system to ensure that you have met all the academic requirements, including internships, co-ops, student teaching, projects and other qualifications, to be eligible to graduate.
Apply to graduate.
Many colleges require you to complete an application to have your degree be awarded. As part of this process, you may also need to complete additional forms or surveys.
Check your official records.
Verify that the college has your correct name, permanent or next address, an email address besides your school email, and an updated phone number on record.
Confirm your diploma arrangements.
Typically, you need to provide an address where you'll receive your actual diploma at a later date. You may be able to arrange pickup if you aren't leaving the area right away.
Prepare for the ceremony.
You may need to pay a graduation fee, reserve or buy tickets for guests, RSVP for the ceremony and purchase your cap and gown. In addition, you may be able to order announcements, class rings, medals or stoles for the ceremony, or commemorative DVDs or photos if you plan to participate in the graduation ceremony.
Take care of business.
You may not be able to graduate if you owe any outstanding balances for tuition, parking, housing, library fines or other fees. Return library, lab and other materials as needed, and cancel any ongoing payment arrangements for services like student health insurance and parking permits.
Prepare to repay student debt.
Many students who have student loans are required to participate in a financial aid exit interview before leaving school. This is your opportunity to be sure you understand when you have to start repaying your loans, how much payments will be and where you should direct them.
Get ready to move out and move on.
If you're living in the dorms, check with the housing or student life department regarding procedures for students who are graduating.
If you don't have your next step planned, consider the alternatives available to you.