Graduation Timeline

What to Expect at Graduation

The timeline below provides step-by-step information on what to expect up to and during graduation. Please contact graduation@kaplan.edu if you have any questions. 

Kaplan University Graduates

Step 1: Decide if You Are Attending or Not Attending a Ceremony

If You Are Not Attending a Ceremony 

It is not necessary to fill out any forms as the Office of the Registrar will automatically mail your diploma approximately eight weeks after completion of the final class and all program and financial requirements have been confirmed by University officials according to the University Catalog. For questions regarding diplomas, please email the Office of the Registrar at rsupport@kaplan.edu or call 866.522.7747 (Toll Free). Proceed to step 6.

2014 Summer Commencement
Kaplan University Graduates

Step 2: Determine Which Ceremony to Attend

You’ve decided to attend a ceremonygreat! Here’s what to do next:

          • Determine Eligibility—Review your remaining credits and expected graduation date on your degree plan to determine when your degree will be completed as your degree must be completed before the date of the ceremony. You may also contact Education Advising to review your remaining requirements at 866.522.7747, option 3.
          • Determine which ceremony is for you—Once you have your expected graduation date, visit the Ceremony Info page to view the list of ceremonies taking place after your degree is complete. Between the ceremonies for online graduates and the ground campus ceremonies, there are many options to choose from.
          • Review Financial Obligations—Participating in the graduation ceremony can be a financial commitment. While there is no cost to attend the actual ceremony, students are responsible for purchasing their cap and gown as well as any costs associated with getting to the ceremony, including airfare, hotel, etc. Because costs vary with each student depending on their needs, we recommend researching your costs before registering to attend the ceremony. 

Step 3: Register to Attend the Ceremony

Complete the online participation form located on the Graduation Center approximately 4 months prior to the ceremony date. Students must register to attend the ceremony by the deadline listed on the Graduation Center. Note: it is not necessary to wait until you reach your final term to register. As long as your Education Advisor has confirmed your degree is scheduled to be completed prior to the ceremony date, you may register as soon as registration opens.

  • Order Your Cap and Gown—Caps and gowns are not sold by Kaplan University and will not be available for purchase at the graduation venue. Therefore, they must be ordered prior to the ceremony. Cap and gown orders take up to 7 weeks to process so it is recommended that orders are placed early. Caps and gowns may be purchased through Jostens by clicking here
  • Make Your Travel Plans—Students who do not reside near the ceremony venue are responsible for making all necessary travel plans to get to the ceremony. We recommend booking your airfare and hotel early to avoid high prices.* 
  • Watch Your Mailbox for Your Graduation Event Guide—Your Graduation Event Guide containing important ceremony information will be mailed out approximately 2–3 weeks prior to the ceremony date. If you move, please contact graduation@kaplan.edu with an updated address as the guide will be mailed to the address provided on your participation form.

*It is recommended that graduates and guests refrain from booking travel accommodations until after the ceremony registration opens. In the event of a schedule change, Kaplan University is not responsible for reimbursing travel costs or other expenditures associated with attending the ceremony.

2014 Graduation Ceremony
Singing of the National Anthem

Step 4: Tips for Making Your Experience Seamless

          • Confirm Your Registration—You will receive a confirmation email from the Graduation Event Team within 10 business days. If you do not receive a confirmation email, please contact graduation@kaplan.edu to make sure your form was received. Monthly ceremony emails will also be sent to all eligible students which will note whether or not you are on the list to attend the ceremony. If you filled out a participation form and received a ceremony email stating you are not on the attendee list, please contact graduation@kaplan.edu. Note:  add graduation@kaplan.edu to your approved senders list to ensure our emails reach you.   
          • Avoid Unnecessary Fees—Preparing for graduation can be overwhelming, but keeping the following in mind can help ease the stress by keeping costs to a minimum.
          • Order Your Cap and Gown by the Order Deadline—Orders placed after the deadline may require additional rush shipping fees to ensure your order is received in time.
          • Make Travel Plans Early—Hotel and airfare costs are typically higher when booked close to your travel dates, so make any necessary reservations early. *
          • Contact Us if Your Plans Change—If you are unable to attend the ceremony, please contact graduation@kaplan.edu by the posted cancellation deadline to avoid the cancellation fee of $125. Note: fee applies to all cancellations received after the cancellation deadline, regardless of intent to attend a future ceremony, as expenses are incurred on the students’ behalf with the venue and all ceremony materials. 

 

* It is recommended that graduates and guests refrain from booking travel accommodations until after the ceremony registration opens. In the event of a schedule change, Kaplan University is not responsible for reimbursing travel costs or other expenditures associated with attending the ceremony.

Step 5: What to Expect Graduation Weekend

There are many festivities to fill graduation weekend, including the School of Nursing Pinning Ceremony, Graduate Check-In, the Graduate Services Area, and of course, the graduation ceremony. Below is a sample schedule of the weekend, however each ceremony is unique, so please review the Graduation Ceremony Schedule of Events on the Graduation Center for the specific ceremony schedule and details.

Friday Afternoon/Evening

  • Check-in—Graduates arrive at venue to check in and pick up their reader card and guest tickets (if applicable).
  • Graduate Services Area—Graduates may visit various Kaplan University departments such as Student Life, Career Services, etc., for information and/or questions, or just to hear “Congratulations!” from multiple Kaplan University employees.
  • School of Nursing Pinning Ceremony—Nursing graduates will be pinned by their dean.

Saturday Morning/Afternoon

  • Check-in—Those who were unable to check-in Friday night may do so beginning one hour prior to the ceremony start time. Note: We recommend checking-in on Friday to avoid stress on graduation day.
  • Line-Up—Graduates should arrive to their line-up area one hour prior to the start of the ceremony for announcements and to prepare to march.
  • Graduation—You did it! This is your time to shine. Once you march into the theater, sit back and enjoy, but be sure to listen for your name.

Helpful Hints

  • Be Prepared to Walk—Before processing into the theater, you will line up in a holding area with your classmates. There is moderate distance between the holding area and the theater, which may include stairs. Handicapped parking, sign language interpreters, early Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) seating and a designated ADA seating area will be available the day of the ceremony for both students and guests, however, if further assistance will be required, please contact graduation@kaplan.edu. 
  • Do Not Arrive Earlier Than Requested—While we encourage you to arrive early enough to become familiar with the area, if you do not have questions or do not require assistance, please refrain from arriving more than an hour prior to the start of the ceremony to avoid long wait periods.
Alumni-DerekSomerville_headshot
Kaplan University Alum

Step 6: Life After Graduation

Graduation is now behind you, but Kaplan University has more to offer.

          • Explore the Alumni page to stay connected with fellow graduates and peers, and to take advantage of the many benefits available to Kaplan University graduates, including discounts with select retailers, continuing your education, and more.
          • Career Services provides resume and job search assistance.  Check out the career search tools available through the Career Network. The Career Network is accessible via the KU Campus portal to currently enrolled students and graduates of Kaplan University. It is a social platform for our students and alumni to collaborate with each other and the Career Services team. You can search for jobs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, as well as track your job search activity.
          • Check out the Social Hub to stay connected with us in the social media community. 

 


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