Seriously, Graduating Already?
Remember how when our kids were little we couldn’t envision them leaving us and going off to college? Now, if you are like me, you can’t believe how quickly the time went. It continues to rush by and before you know it, college graduation will be here.
The very first tip is for students to check that they meet all of the requirements for graduation. Each school has a checklist and students have deadlines to apply for graduation. They know that so this should not be left to the last minute.
And, I am not trying to scare you; I just want to give you ample time to make those hotel reservations. Similar to football weekends, graduation weekend hotels are at a premium if you want to stay close to campus. People book them a year out. No joke. I literally booked my rooms a solid year before my son graduated. This especially holds true for campuses that are not in a major city.
Be sure to check the policy with whichever hotel you choose, but if possible, book more rooms and cancel later when Grandpa decides he isn’t up to the four-plus hour drive. It is far easier to cancel than to try to find a room in February for May graduation. If you are booking multiple rooms, just a tip; put them in different names because if you have them all in your name, and you need to cancel a room, the hotel may have to cancel the entire reservation. This actually happened to a friend of mine. Another option is to look into air BnBs in the area. There are many. Talk about the comforts of home.
You might not know which of these days and time is for your student’s major until a few months before though. Click on your school for all the info you may need for graduation. You will find that particularly for the May graduation, there are so many students graduating they split it into multiple ceremonies throughout the day and evenings.
If you need parking for handicapped graduates or guest, the colleges have this service available. You may need to contact Student Accessibility Services as to requesting wheelchair accessible seating or drop off. Remember to make restaurant reservations in advance especially once you know what time your student is walking. Look at our Graduation Restaurants Reservations for your student’s school as to which ones do accept reservations.
As far as the number of graduation tickets you get, each school is different but more often than not, you will want more. There may be a ticket lottery or you may find other students selling theirs or even better, giving theirs to friends. Have your student ask around, especially if you have an entire cheering section planning on attending. Most of the schools will live stream the ceremonies so, if all else fails, they can join all of the other festivities but may have to watch from a laptop.
You will also find information on the cap and gown costs. Some schools require you to return them as soon as you walk across the stage and exit (which is why students take photographs in advance) and some you get to keep the cap and gown (because that is definitely something they will wear again lol). Don’t forget to have your student line up a photographer to take pictures around campus. You will find some of the more requested photographers in our blog on All Things Graduation.
Finally, we’ve got some great graduation gift suggestions including diploma and tassel frames. And if you want to send or bring flowers, we’ve got recommendations for that as well.