FAQs

 

Graduation and Commencement Frequently Asked Questions


How do I get information about the university ceremony and graduation convocations?

Instructions and information for the university undergraduate and graduate ceremonies are posted on the graduation website approximately four weeks prior to graduation. You may also contact the Graduation Office, 210 Enrollment Services Center; or phone (515) 294-9372; or email graduation@iastate.edu.

For information on college convocations, see the Graduation Activities page.

What is the graduation fee?

The $75 graduation fee is assessed to students when they submit an application for graduation. The fee partially covers the cost of such items as the commencement ceremony and program, diplomas and covers, postage and mailing costs of diplomas not distributed at commencement, and final audit of degree completion. This fee approved subject to change by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, is non-refundable.

Are tickets required for the university commencement ceremonies?

No. Tickets are not required for the university commencement ceremony.

How do I get a cap and gown for the ceremony?

Caps and gowns may be obtained from the University Book Store, Memorial Union, phone: (515) 294-5684.

What do I need to do before graduation?

Undergraduate Students:

1) You must complete and submit an application for graduation through AccessPlus (student tab/graduation/application).

Degree requirements will be reviewed by the Graduation Office and your graduation status will be posted in AccessPlus under student tab, graduation, Graduation Status by midterm. The student and adviser will be notified of the student’s graduation status--by midterm.

2) Complete Financial Aid or Loans Receivable Exit Interview

If you have borrowed from the Stafford/Direct loan program, you must complete an exit counseling session on-line at https://www.nslds.ed.gov. You will need to have your Department of Education PIN (not your ISU Card PIN) to access this site. If you no longer have this PIN number, you can request a duplicate on-line. If you do not have computer access, you can stop in the Office of Student Financial Aid at 0210 Beardshear to complete an exit interview packet. If you have questions, please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid, 0210 Beardshear, or phone (515) 294-2223.

If you have borrowed from the Disadvantaged Student Loan, Federal Perkins Loan, Health Profession Student Loan, Perkins Loan, or University Long Term Loan programs, you will be required to complete an exit counseling session. Detailed information will be sent to you the term of your graduation. If you have any questions please contact the Loans Receivable Office, 0880 Beardshear, or phone (515) 294-8747.

3) Your transcript will not be released if you do not complete exit interview requirements for Financial Aid and/or Loans Receivable.

Graduate Students:

1) Apply for graduation through Access Plus. Also see the Graduate College website for graduation requirements and deadlines.

2) Complete Financial Aid or Loans Receivable Exit Interview

If you have borrowed from the Stafford/Direct loan program, you must complete an exit counseling session on-line at https://www.nslds.ed.gov. You will need to have your Department of Education PIN (not your ISU Card PIN) to access this site. If you no longer have this PIN number, you can request a duplicate on-line. If you do not have computer access, you can stop in the Office of Student Financial Aid at 0210 Beardshear to complete an exit interview packet. If you have questions, please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid, 0210 Beardshear, or phone (515) 294-2223.

If you have borrowed from the Disadvantaged Student Loan, Federal Perkins Loan, Health Profession Student Loan, Perkins Loan, or University Long Term Loan programs, you will be required to complete an exit counseling session. Detailed information will be sent to you the term of your graduation. If you have any questions please contact the Loans Receivable Office, 0880 Beardshear, or phone (515) 294-8747.

3) Your transcript will not be released if you do not complete exit interview requirements for Financial Aid and/or Loans Receivable.

What if I need special assistance at the ceremony?

Any graduate planning to participate in the commencement ceremony who will need special assistance (wheelchair access, etc.) should contact the Registrar's Office at (515) 294-0767 prior to the ceremony.

Guests who need special assistance (special seating assignments for the elderly or persons in wheelchairs, location of handicapped parking, etc.) during the commencement ceremony should contact Denise by e-mail or at (515) 294-0767 prior to the ceremony.

How do I find out about local lodging for my guests?

Check the visitors information web page or our handy mobile app page.

How long will the graduation ceremony last?

The commencement ceremony will last approximately 2 1/2 hours. All graduates will walk across the stage as their name is read.

When will diplomas be mailed?

Approximately four weeks prior to graduation, the Graduation Office will email your ISU account with instructions on providing diploma mailing address information through your AccessPlus account. Diplomas will be mailed approximately two-three weeks after graduation.

Transcripts will NOT be mailed to students who have not completed the required Loans or Financial Aid Exit Counseling Sessions or who have a delinquent balance with the university.

What if I want my diploma mailed overseas?

International students returning home after graduation who want their diploma mailed to them overseas need to stop in the Graduation Office in the Office of the Registrar, 210 Enrollment Services Center and fill out an overseas mailer and verify mailing information. (Diplomas will be mailed to an overseas address ONLY when this procedure is completed). Call (515) 294-9372 or e-mail graduation@iastate.edu for more information.

Can I pick up my diploma instead of having it mailed to me?

Approximately four weeks prior to graduation, the Graduation Office will email your ISU account with instructions on providing diploma delivery information through your AccessPlus account. Specify that you prefer to pick up your diploma rather than having it mailed. Diplomas will be available for pick-up in the Graduation Office, 210 Enrollment Services Center, approximately two-three weeks after graduation.

What if I need to change my graduation date to a later semester?

1) Login to AccessPlus (student tab/graduation/application).

2) Open application for term submitted.

3) Select "withdraw application."

4) Submit application for term you plan to complete requirements in.

What are the requirements for "Graduating with Distinction?"

Undergraduates who have a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 or higher at the beginning of their final term are eligible to graduate “with distinction” provided they have completed 60 semester credits of coursework at Iowa State University at the time they graduate, including a minimum of 50 graded credits.

Students who graduate with a cumulative grade point average of 3.90 or higher will graduate Summa Cum Laude; those who graduate with a cumulative grade point average of 3.70 to 3.89 will graduate Magna Cum Laude; and those who graduate with a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 to 3.69 will graduate Cum Laude. This recognition appears on the student’s official transcript and diploma and in the commencement program.

Will my minor appear on my diploma?

Minors appear only on the Iowa State University transcript. Only your major will show on your diploma.