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Graduation: A look at what it takes to apply

Students look forward to graduation from the moment they set foot on campus. | File photo/The Cougar

Classes may have just started, but seniors are already looking ahead to the end of the semester and what it brings: graduation.

Students may think about graduating and their life afterward, but not many know the process seniors go through to apply for graduation. As the deadline for Spring 2019 graduation approaches, it’s important to figure out what is necessary to graduate on time. 

“Degrees are not awarded automatically upon completion of scholastic requirements,” according to the University’s website. “To be considered a candidate for a degree, the student must submit an online application for graduation by logging in to myUH.”

Graduation dates change every semester and depend on the student’s college. Spring 2019 graduation dates range from May 8 to May 11 and will be held in different places, including the new Fertitta Center and Cullen Performance Hall.

Applications for graduation opened Nov. 2 and will close Feb. 22. If a student misses that deadline, they can file for application late through March 22.

“I know nothing about graduation right now, other than I have to pay,” said biology senior Kaisa Trimiar.

During the normal filing period, application costs $25. If students miss the deadline and must file for graduation late, the price doubles and they have to pay $50. If one misses the late application period, they cannot graduate and will have to wait for the next semester to apply.

If a student is graduating with multiple degrees, they will need to send an application to graduate for each of their majors and pay a separate fee for each.

“My one complaint about the graduation process is that you have to pay,” Trimiar said.

Students also need to purchase their cap and gown. There is no deadline for purchasing, but students need them for all commencement exercises. Caps and gowns are sold at the UH bookstore, but students sometimes rent or borrow their graduation wear.

Students should order their cap and gown as soon as they apply to graduate and confirm with their department they will be participating in the commencement ceremony,” said University Registrar Scott Sawyer.

Different colleges have different requirements to graduate. A student is classified as a senior when they hit 90 earned credits. Students can check their degree plans on the University’s website to get an idea of where they stand.

“I’ve got to go talk to an advisor. I have to find some time,” Trimiar said. “There’s so much to worry about with classes. I feel like the only people that do that have a cool, fun senior year.”

The best advice is to visit your advisor, Sawyer said.

Make an appointment with an advisor to identify any unexpected problems and answer concerns as it relates to graduation,” Sawyer said. “The advisor will go over the degree plan to identify any remaining classes the student has to complete.”

On the day of graduation, try to bring the least number of items as possible, Sawyer said. Guests will not be able to bring wrapped gifts into the ceremony, nor can anyone have purses that are not clear. Sawyer also suggests students eat before the ceremony and wear comfortable clothing since they will be standing for extended periods of time.

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