Graduating from college means the start of a career, graduate school, and other pursuits. This can be daunting, but there are resources available to help.
Seniors soon to graduate from college have a lot of things to worry about all at once at the end of the academic term. On top of final projects and papers, they also have to worry about finding jobs, making arrangements for graduate school, and preparing for life post-college. In addition to all of that, seniors still have to go to class.
While a senior may be focusing on graduation and moving on to the next chapter in his or her life, there are some things to keep in mind before putting on the traditional cap and gown and shaking hands while receiving a degree.
Tie Up Loose Ends with The College or University
Sometimes, it is one little thing that a student forgets about that can prevent them from participating in commencement ceremonies or from receiving a degree at all. So sometimes students need help with paper preparation and other things. It is important that, during the last few weeks of the academic term, students tie up all loose ends and follow up with important offices on campus to make sure a student graduates without any problems.
First, students should contact the business office and make sure that all tuition, room and board, and other fees such as library fines are paid in full. Students who owe money to their alma mater on the day of graduation may not receive their diplomas, be recognized as alumni, or be able to request copies of their transcripts that they may need for jobs or graduate school.
If a student owes money, it is important to pay the balance off before graduation or make arrangements with the college or university to pay it off as quickly as possible. On the other hand, if a student is owed money by the school, be sure to request a refund check for any money in a student’s accounts throughout the school, such as in the business office, student accounts, or on a student’s meal plan.
Additionally, students should check with the registrar’s office to make sure that their transcripts are up to date and that there are no missing requirements, such as an incomplete course, that would prevent a student from graduating. Students who have had course substitutions, or have taken a different class in place of a required course, should make sure that those are accounted for.
Students may also want to follow up with other departments on campus if they have outstanding fees, fines, concerns, or special arrangements:
- judicial affairs
- parking services
- housing/residence life
- student activities
Schedule Career Counseling with the Career Services Center
The job market is becoming tough for recent college graduates, and while sitting at home watching bad television shows may be tempting for those who have hit dead ends in their job search, it is important to keep looking.
It is recommended to schedule one or more appointments with the college or university’s career services center to work on resumes, post resumes on job search websites, and participate in mock interviews. The career services center can also help students who are entering graduate school with finding graduate assistantships or helping students find internships following graduation.
Additionally, it is also required to follow any job leads, continue to follow up on interviews and applications, and maximize the experience that you have had through organizations, conferences, or internships during your college years. If a student finds that the job searches keeps hitting dead ends, however, they may want to consider taking a position outside of their field while continuing to search.
Remember to Complete Federal Loan Exit Counseling
For students who have student loans through the federal government or have received a TEACH grant, it is extremely important to complete the required exit counseling. This exit counseling not only alerts the government to the fact that a student is withdrawing from school or graduating as a pro essay writer, but it also serves to remind students and borrowers of their rights and obligations under the terms under which they received federal funding. According to the United States Department of Education’s website, the exit counseling program will take thirty to forty minutes to complete, and students must pass a quiz at the end of the counseling session to complete the course.
Additionally, colleges and universities may have their own independent financial exit counseling for students who have borrowed money from the school, or in general to educate students on financial obligations following graduation. Students should complete all forms of financial exit counseling as close to graduation as possible. For students with federal loans or who fail to meet TEACH grant obligations, this will also allow students to set up repayment plans for any money owed to the government.
Don’t Give Up Hope If After Graduation Plans Fall Through
For students whose plans for life after graduation have fallen through, it is important to keep looking. If a student has not been able to find a job, it is important to keep looking or consider an internship to help them gain more professional experience.
If a student was hoping to attend graduate school and did not get accepted, he or she should consider applying for jobs in fields related to their intended area of study in graduate school. This not only helps applicants to gain more experience but to also test the waters and see if this field is really for them. Students who were denied due to grades or test scores may want to consider taking classes at a local college or university or testing center to help improve a student’s GPA or test scores and then try to reapply.
For graduating seniors, life after college graduation may be exciting and intimidating at the same time. Amidst all of the graduation excitement, however, students should remember to make sure that their transition from college to adult life is as smooth as possible.