Frequently Asked Questions—Maryland Graduation

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. The next Kaplan University Maryland Graduation Ceremony will be held on Sunday, December 3, 2017 at 11:00 am ET and 3:00 pm ET. To register for the upcoming ceremony please click here.

  • Am I required to attend graduation?

    No, the ceremonies are celebratory events and graduates are not required to attend. Please confirm whether or not you will be attending by filling out the registration form.

  • 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, 2017. 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 Survey located on the Ceremony Info page of the Maryland Graduation Center. Participation surveys are due by October 27, 2017 to attend the December ceremony. Surveys will not be accepted after the posted deadline.

    STEP 2: Print, complete, email, mail, or call in the 2017 Ceremony Fee Form by October 27, 2017. 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
    • Access to recorded full ceremony and summary highlight videos
    • 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
    • Access to Facebook live stream of both ceremonies

    STEP 3: Order your cap/gown/tassel through Jostens by October 27, 2017. 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 
    • Access to recorded full ceremony and summary highlight videos 
    • 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
    • Access to Facebook live stream of both ceremonies

    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 August 7, 2017 and will close on October 27, 2017. Once registration begins, the Maryland ceremony participation survey 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 tickets will be notified no later than November 3, 2017. There are no guarantees that you will be a lottery winner and no graduate will receive more than 6 tickets total—NO EXCEPTIONS UNLESS WE HAVE EXTRA SEATS AVAILABLE AFTER THE REGISTRATION DEADLINE DATE.

    A live simulcast of the graduation ceremony will be streamed via Facebook in the cafeteria of North Hagerstown High School for any attendees that do not have a ticket for the auditorium. This live stream through Facebook will also be available for those who are unable to attend to view the graduation. Further instruction on how to access the live video via Facebook will be provided to graduates through email. 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 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 3, 2017

    Maryland Morning Ceremony Schedule 
    Commencement for graduates in the Schools of Business and Technology, and Health Sciences
    9:30 am: Graduate Check-in for the morning ceremony, and family photos (optional) - 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, Nursing, and College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
    1:45 pm: Graduate Check-in for the afternoon ceremony, and family photos (optional) - 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.

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.

    Please note that any Kaplan University student who graduates after 4/27/17 may petition, after the closing of the transaction, the new University under Purdue to receive diplomas or transcripts with the new University name.

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 7, 2017.

    The academic honors statuses are as follows:

    • Cumulative GPA of 3.70–3.79—Cum Laude - White Cord
    • Cumulative GPA of 3.80–3.99—Magna Cum Laude - Silver Cord
    • Cumulative GPA of 4.0—Summa Cum Laude - Gold Cord and Academic Award of Excellence Medallion
  • 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 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.


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.

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