Virtual Graduation FAQs
- The deadline to order a cap and gown is Friday, April 30. It should arrive within 2 weeks.
- Submit image for Commemorative Graduation Photo by 6/7 to receive your custom photo via email.
- Upload your personal photos and video clips (up to three of each) between 5/5 and 6/7.
- Join us for this year’s Virtual Graduation streaming live on June 26 at 1pm EST.
Virtual Graduation FAQs
Why can't we have an in-person graduation?
We were following the federal, state, and local guidelines involving social distancing and gathering limitations when we made the decision to hold a virtual graduation ceremony. The size of our graduation ceremonies preclude us from having a physical, face-to-face ceremony at this time. In addition, it takes months to plan and organize a graduation ceremony and we had to move forward with concrete plans with the information we had at the time.
Other schools are having in-person graduations. Why can't South College?
A graduation ceremony takes months of planning. When we began planning the 2021 graduation ceremony, large venues were still not accepting reservations for the month of June. To our knowledge, large venues are still not allowing full-capacity gatherings. Other schools may own their venues (e.g. basketball arena or theater) which makes it easier to reserve closer to the event and they may also be dramatically limiting the number of partcipants.
Is South College planning on an in-person graduation for 2022?
Yes! We anticipate being able to hold a normal, in-person graduation for 2022.
Will I be able to walk at the next graduation ceremony?
Yes! Any student who graduated after Summer 2019 will be able to participate or “walk” in the 2022 commencement ceremony without having to pay a fee.
I'm a first generation college student and I have worked so hard for this. I will never get the chance to walk again!
We are so impressed by the accomplishments of our graduates – especially our first generation students and those who have overcome significant challenges. We are working hard to make sure our online graduation ceremony appropriately honors and celebrates your achievement. In addition to this, every graduate may elect to walk across the stage in the 2022 commencement ceremony without any additional charge.
Can I get a refund for the graduation fee?
As outlined in the South College Catalog, a graduation fee is assessed regardless of whether you participate. This fee covers all the costs associated with graduation – the diploma, diploma cover, graduation regalia (e.g. cap and gown), commencement speaker, musician, commemorative photo and digital photo book, and the commencement organization, filming, and broadcast.
What if I can't watch the ceremony when it is broadcast?
The ceremony will be recorded and saved with a link on our website so that you and your family and friends may view it at a time that is convenient.
What if I don't want to participate in graduation?
We certainly hope you and your family and friends take advantage of viewing the ceremony, but you don’t have to. Even if you don’t view graduation, you will still receive a diploma and diploma cover and you can still order regalia, receive a commemorative photo, and participate in the digital photobook.
What if my family doesn't have good internet at home? They won't be able to stream my graduation!
A reliable internet connection will be required to view the ceremony on Facebook Live or through the link on the South College website. Afterwards, a link to the recorded ceremony will be available on our website. This will enable you and your family members time to find suitable ways to view the ceremony.
Is having a virtual graduation just a way for South College to save money?
While we share in the disappointment that some of our graduates feel in not being able to physically gather in an auditorium for graduation, we are working diligently to create an online celebration that is a worthy reflection of the accomplishments of our graduates. A virtual graduation is actually more expensive than an in-person one. For example, we have hired a production crew to help us plan, organize, and film graduation. We are securing a guest speaker as well as vocal artists to provide the music. We are renting out space in which to film the ceremony and we are implementing the technology required to capture student photos and videos into a graduation flipbook. We also have to secure and ship the regalia, diploma and diploma covers, commencement programs, and transcripts, just to name a few of the associated costs. In addition to the online graduation, we are inviting all of our graduates to come back and walk across the stage in any future South College graduation at no extra cost.
How do I order my cap and gown?
Eligible graduates will receive instructions from the Registrar’s Office with detailed instructions via their South College email on how to place their order through our online ordering site beginning March 1.
What is the deadline for ordering the cap and gown?
The deadline to place an order for the cap and gown is Friday, April 30.
How long will it take to get my cap and gown?
The caps and gowns are being shipped directly from our supplier. After placing your order, it generally takes 2 weeks to receive your cap and gown and you will receive a tracking number to track the order. If you have questions about your caps and gowns, you may contact your campus Registrar.
I didn't get my cap and gown on time, who should I contact?
If you have questions about your caps and gowns, you may contact your campus Registrar.
When will we get our diplomas and diploma covers?
Diplomas will be mailed to students about two to four weeks after the degree has been awarded.
If I bought a cap and gown because I thought I would get to walk, can I return it?
The cap and gown, diploma and diploma cover, and associated commencement ceremony costs are covered by the graduation fee. The graduation fee is assessed during the quarter in which the student is scheduled to graduate. As the catalog states, “these fees are non-refundable and charged to all candidates for graduation regardless of their attendance at the graduation ceremony.”