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    Kaplan University Graduate

    See below for frequently asked questions about the Maryland graduation ceremony.

  • General Questions

     See below for frequently asked questions about the graduation ceremony.

  • When is graduation?

    Kaplan University holds graduation ceremonies throughout the year at various locations that online and campus students can attend. Please click here for upcoming ceremony dates and information. Dates are posted as soon as they are scheduled. Kaplan University Maryland hosts two ceremonies a year, one in June and one in December.

    Am I required to attend graduation?

    No, the ceremonies are celebratory events and graduates are not required to attend.

    How do I know if I am eligible to participate in the ceremony?

    Candidates may walk in the Maryland December graduation ceremony provided they have completed all degree requirements by December 31, 2016. If you are not sure when your degree will be complete, please contact your Academic Advisor to go over your credits and requirements.

    Can I attend a ceremony if I have a balance on my student account?

    Yes. Owing a balance only prevents graduates from receiving their diploma, and the actual diplomas are not handed out at the ceremonies.

    What do I have to do to attend a graduation ceremony?

    Students who want to walk in the Maryland December graduation ceremony must complete the following three steps:

    STEP 1: Register to attend the ceremony by completing the Maryland Graduation Participation Form location on the Ceremony Info page of the Maryland Graduation Center. Participation forms are due by October 21, 2016 to attend the December ceremony. Forms will not be accepted after the posted deadline.

    STEP 2: Print, complete, email, mail, or call in the 2016 Ceremony Fee Form by October 21, 2016. Click here to download the form. The $100.00 ceremony fee covers the following: 

    • One digital upload of the graduate with the Kaplan University, Maryland President while receiving their diploma cover on stage
    • One video upload of the graduate walking across the stage with their name being announced
    • Graduation tickets
    • Diploma cover
    • Graduation program
    • Honor cords for those who qualify
    • Military coin for those who are active duty or veterans
    • Facility and event costs

    STEP 3: Order your cap/gown/tassel through Jostens by April 25, 2016. Click here to order or call Jostens at 800.854.7464.


    How much does it cost to attend graduation?

    The Maryland ceremony fee is $100.00 and covers the following:

    • One digital upload of the graduate with the Kaplan University, Maryland President  while receiving their diploma cover on stage 
    • One video upload of the graduate  walking across the stage with their name being announced 
    • Graduation tickets 
    • Diploma cover 
    • Graduation program 
    • Honor cords for those who qualify 
    • Military coin for those that are active duty or veterans 
    • Facility and event costs 

    This fee does not cover the graduate’s cap and gown as it needs to be ordered directly from Jostens by clicking here or call 800.854.7464.   

    Graduates are responsible for travel expenses associated with getting to the ceremony, such as hotel and airfare.

    When should I register for my ceremony?

    Registration begins approximately 4 months prior to the ceremony date and ends approximately 5 weeks prior to the ceremony date. Once registration begins, the Maryland ceremony participation form will be posted on the Ceremony Info page of the Maryland Graduation Center.

    How many guests may I bring to the graduation ceremony?

    Guest seating limits vary with each ceremony as they are based on the auditorium’s seating capacity as well as the number of graduates expected to attend. Children 3 years or younger are expected to sit on the lap of an adult and will not require a ticket. Please see the Ceremony Info page for the upcoming ceremony’s guest seating limits.

    Can I bring additional guests above the allotted amount?

    • Each graduate may bring up to 4 guests to the ceremony. Based on the number of graduates who attend, there may be additional guest tickets available. If you would like to be placed in a lottery for two extra tickets, please note this when you register for the ceremony. Due to the capacity limits in the auditorium and fire-code regulations, we are required to limit the number of tickets per graduate. Recipients of the extra ticket will be notified no later than November 7, 2016. There are no guarantees that you will be a lottery winner and no graduate will receive more than 6 tickets total—NO EXCEPTIONS.
    • A live simulcast of the graduation ceremony will be streamed in the cafeteria of North Hagerstown High School for any attendees that do not have a ticket for the auditorium. The ceremony webcast link of the full ceremony will be added to the Graduation Center upon completion.
    • Child Seating: If the child is large enough to need his or her own seat to be comfortable, they will require a ticket. If the child is sitting in an adult's lap then they do not need a ticket.

    How can I get invitations for family members who need to apply for travel visas?

    While there are no formal invitations sent out, graduates can write to marylandgraduation@kaplan.edu and the graduation team can provide a letter to be given to the embassy.

    Can I attend a ceremony at a later date?

    Graduates may attend any ceremony that falls after their degree completion date. Please visit the Campus Ceremonies page frequently for updated ceremony dates and information.

    Can I attend the ceremony if I’ve earned a certificate?

    Yes, graduates earning certificates may attend the ceremony, provided that eligibility guidelines have been met.

    When and where do I need to check in for graduation? What time do I need to arrive at the ceremony?

    The graduation check-in area for the Maryland Ceremony is located in the gymnasium of North Hagerstown High School. The schedule for graduate check in for each ceremony is listed below:


    Sunday, December 4, 2016

    Maryland Morning Ceremony Schedule
    Commencement for graduates in the Schools of Business and Technology, Health Sciences, and Nursing
    9:45 am: Graduate Check-in for the Morning Ceremony, high school gymnasium
    10:00 am: Auditorium doors open for the Morning Ceremony guest seating
    11:00 am–1:00 pm: Morning Ceremony

    Maryland Afternoon Ceremony Schedule
    Commencement for graduates in the School of Education and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
    1:45 pm: Graduate Check-in for the Afternoon Ceremony, high school gymnasium
    2:00 pm: Auditorium doors open for the Afternoon Ceremony guest seating
    3:00 pm–5:00 pm: Afternoon Ceremony


    What time will the auditorium doors open for guest seating?

    The auditorium doors will open one hour prior to the scheduled start time of each ceremony.

    Are seats assigned?

    Graduates will be seated by degree. Guest seating is open and on a first come first serve basis. Ushers will monitor and ask that seats not be saved.

    Will the ceremony be broadcasted live over the Internet?

    At this time, it is anticipated that the ceremony will stream live via webcast. The webcast link will be posted 24 hours prior to the ceremony. In addition, a live simulcast will be broadcasted in the overflow area located in the cafeteria outside of the auditorium during the Maryland ceremony for guests without tickets.


    Can I purchase a copy of the ceremony on DVD?

    The ceremony is not available on DVD; however the full ceremony will be available for replay on the Graduation Archives page.

    Will there be a photographer at the ceremony?

    Yes, a professional photographer will be onsite taking photographs of graduates before and during the ceremony. One digital image of the graduate receiving their diploma cover onstage with the Maryland President is included in the graduation ceremony fee. Additional photos can be purchased directly through the photographer.

    How do I purchase professional graduation photos?

    Graduates will be contacted via email by the photographer approximately 2–3 weeks after the ceremony, as soon as all photos have been posted to their website.

  • Caps and Gowns 

    See below for frequently asked questions about the ordering your cap and gown.

  • Where do I order my cap and gown and can I order a set if I am not planning to attend graduation?

    Graduates are responsible for purchasing their caps and gowns and may do so through Jostens. You do not have to attend a ceremony to order regalia. Those attending should order their set no later than October 21, 2016, to ensure it arrives in time. All caps and gowns are black, and tassels are color coded by degree.

    Can I purchase or exchange my cap and gown at the ceremony venue?

    Kaplan University does not sell caps and gowns. As a courtesy, a small inventory of caps, gowns, and tassels will be available onsite for exchange purposes, however, there is no guarantee that your size or tassel color will be available. We recommend ordering your cap and gown at least 7 weeks prior to the ceremony to ensure you have a gown.

    My degree is not listed on Jostens’ site. How do I ensure I am ordering the correct gown and tassel?

    Degrees are broken down by major/curriculum on the Jostens site. Please see the Cap and Gown page for a listing of degrees to determine which major/curriculum to select on your order form.

    Can I purchase a tassel only?

    Tassels come with the cap and gown set however there is an option to purchase the tassel separately on the Jostens site.

    Do I need a hood?

    Hoods are part of the master's and doctoral-level cap and gown packages and come with the set when ordered through Jostens. A hood can be ordered separately for those who already have a cap and gown but please make sure your gown is a master's gown.


    Can I purchase a cap and gown if I’ve missed the order deadline?

    Graduates who miss the ordering deadline may contact Jostens’ Customer Service at 800.854.7464 to see if they will accept a late order. Please note that late orders may be subject to additional late and/or rush delivery fees.

    Can I use my cap and gown set from a previous ceremony?

    As long as your cap and gown is black, you may use it again. Please note that certificate-, associate’s-, and bachelor’s-level gowns are the same. Master’s and doctoral-level gowns have different sleeves and come with the required hood.

  • Diplomas and Transcripts

    Question about your transcript? See the FAQs below. 

  • When will I receive my diploma, and do I have to attend a graduation ceremony to receive it?

    Diplomas are mailed by the Office of the Registrar approximately 8 weeks after completion of the final class and all program and financial requirements have been confirmed by University officials according to the University Catalog. Diplomas are not distributed at the graduation ceremonies.

  • Academic Honors 

    See below for frequently asked questions about academic honors.

  • How do I know if I have earned academic honors?

    Effective January 1, 2016, graduates who complete their degree with a current enrollment grade point average (GPAs) of 3.70 or higher will achieve academic honors status. Academic honors statuses will be noted in the Commencement program based on the student’s GPA as of November 8, 2016.

    The academic honors statuses are as follows:

    • Cumulative GPA of 3.70–3.79—Cum Laude
    • Cumulative GPA of 3.80–3.99—Magna Cum Laude
    • Cumulative GPA of 4.0—Summa Cum Laude


    Will I receive honor cords to wear at the ceremony?

    Graduates who attend the ceremony will receive an academic honor cord during check-in in the gymnasium.

    Will I be recognized for academic honors at the ceremony?

    Graduates who achieved academic honors will be recognized during the ceremony as a group and their honors status will be noted in the ceremony program.

    Can I wear my honor society cords at the ceremony?

    Graduates who are members of an honor society may wear their honor society regalia (cords, stoles, pins, etc.) at the ceremony. Honor society graduates should contact the Office of Student Life at StudentLife@kaplan.edu to see how to order regalia as this is not part of the normal ordering process. Graduates must be existing honor society members prior to their final term.

  • Travel

    Learn more about travel to and from the ceremony.

  • Does Kaplan University provide hotel or airfare to those attending the ceremony?

    No, graduates are responsible for covering all necessary travel expenses. As a courtesy, Kaplan University, Maryland secures a discounted rate for graduates at area hotels. Please tell the hotel you are part of the “Kaplan Graduation Event” to receive the discounted rate. Please see the Graduation Travel page for a list of hotels who are offering discounts to Kaplan graduates. Graduates are responsible for reserving their own rooms. We recommend booking reservations early to avoid sold out rooms.

    Will transportation be provided between the airport and hotel/ceremony venue?

    Graduates and guests will be responsible for securing transportation between the airport, hotel, and venue. Hagerstown is approximately an hour to 90 minutes from the following three major airports: BWI, Dulles, and Reagan National.

  • Purchasing Additional Graduation items

    See below for frequently asked questions about how to purchase other items for your graduation.

  • Where can I purchase additional items, such as printed graduation announcements, class ring, and diploma frame?

    Printed announcements, class rings, and diploma frames can be ordered through Jostens.

    Where can I purchase Kaplan University branded items?

    Kaplan University branded items such as t-shirts, sweatshirts, totes, and more can be ordered through the Student Store. A selection of Kaplan University items will be for sale at the Maryland graduation ceremonies.

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