How To Plan for College Graduation: 6 Must Do’s!

Is your college graduation on the horizon? Congratulations! This is a major achievement that deserves some celebration! Before you start that party though, you must take the proper steps to ensure you graduate! You’ll also want to develop a post-graduation plan. Here are some steps and tips to ensure you’re properly prepared for your college graduation.

Two students at graduation have to start thinking about paying back student loans

Flickr user VIA Agency

1. Double Check Your Graduation Requirements

Before anything else, especially as you head into your senior year of college, you should be reviewing the classes you need for graduation. This can include requirements for the overall degree (usually 120 credits), your major, and general education requirements. Every school is different, so you’ll want to review their standards for graduation. You’ll also want to double-check that you have the correct classes for your major to graduate – it’s not all about the number of credits!

If you have any questions or concerns about graduating on time or when you can take the classes you’re missing, be sure to contact your academic advisor as soon as possible so you can get any problems sorted out. If you discover you’re missing some must-have classes and your schedule is already tight, you may be able to take them in the upcoming winter or summer semesters, too.

2. Submit Your Graduation Paperwork

At most colleges and universities, graduation is not automatic. Students have to submit petitions or applications to graduate and receive their diplomas. This is to ensure that students have met their education requirements to graduate and that all related and/or overdue fees are paid.

The date this paperwork is due will vary from school to school. You will want to hand it in before this deadline or you could hold up your diploma!

Graduating seniors should also order their cap and gown through the college or college’s partner. You may have to pay for this attire, but some schools will provide you with it free of charge, too. Make sure to order it in time for the ceremony though!

3. Plan a Celebration

College was a lot of hard work – of course, you should plan a celebration! Whether this is going to a graduation party or having dinner with family and friends, you’ve earned it. Some people even plan major trips to celebrate, such as a Europe tour or a hike along the Appalachian Trail!

Take a little time to celebrate your achievements, accomplishments, and just how far you’ve come in your life in the last four years. Do something special to you.

4. Think About Life After College 

Your senior year of college is also the time to think about your plans for after graduation. Will you enter the workforce? Take some time off? Attend grad school or a career-oriented school? 

If you’re planning on going to grad school, a veterinary college, or a med school, you need to start getting ready as soon as possible. You will have to submit applications and potentially take exams to be accepted. Delaying on this could mean you miss the application deadlines! You’ll also want to give careful thought to if continuing your education is right for you – not all careers require Masters or Doctorate’s.

If you’re thinking about entering the workforce right after college, it’s never too early to start applying! Many organizations will not get back to potential hires for weeks, so if you time it right, you may be able to score some interviews straight after your graduation ceremony. Some businesses, internships, and programs, such as the Disney College Program, look for applicants straight out of college.

5. Attend Your College Graduation

While the college graduation ceremony isn’t mandatory to receive your degree, it is still a memorable experience and time for you, the school, your family, and your friends to celebrate your achievement and hard work over the last four years. It’s also a good excuse to go out for a meal right after!

6. Choose a Place to Hang that Degree

Your actual degree and final transcripts will take a few weeks to arrive, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find the perfect place to hang your bachelor’s! You can take the time now to find the right frame and choose the wall space where it will be a constant reminder of how far you’ve come.

Congratulations again on graduating college! Now is the time to make sure you have all your ducks in a row and a plan for the future. Whatever you have in store for the years to come, you’ve achieved quite a bit since you left high school!

Are you thinking about heading to grad school after you’ve earned your bachelor’s degree? Did you know that College Raptor’s College Match and other resources such as the Major Search tool can also be used to help you identify the best program for your Master’s? It could be just what you need to advance your education and career!