Graduation is Not a Given

Student throw graduation caps in celebration of this milestone

It was mid-February of last term when I was standing in the hallway with my fellow classmates waiting for our classroom to clear out, and I overheard another student mention her dilemma in applying to graduate.  I patiently waited for her to finish her story, my mind spinning a mile a minute, until I finally had a chance to ask, “You have to apply to graduate?”

            The answer: Yes.  Not only do we have to apply to graduate, but once the application is submitted, the process takes two terms.  I was devastated. Did this mean I couldn’t walk in the spring commencement?   

            At first, I blamed myself for my ignorance, thinking my mind must have been elsewhere when my advisor informed me of this.  But now that I have been talking with classmates and random students I interviewed around campus, it is clear that PSU has failed in letting a large portion of students know about this requirement.  Many of the students I talked to didn’t know you had to apply to graduate, and several of those who knew were not aware it took two terms to process. 

            When I asked the well-informed students where they heard of it, they mentioned an e-mail letter indicating that their credits were reaching a graduate level, as opposed to hearing it from an advisor.  I too received this letter, but it arrived two months after the deadline had passed. 

            There is good news to this story though.  With further investigation, I found out I can register to walk without having completed the entire graduation process.  Thank you PSU for providing the “out” for those of us not in the loop!

            So is this application to graduate one of PSU’s best kept secrets?  How did you find out that graduation was not just a given once the credits were earned?