College Graduation Checklist (7 Key Items)

Graduation is an exciting time but it can also be daunting as you prepare to enter the real world. A great way to keep track of all the things you need to do is to prepare a college graduation checklist.

For my own graduation this was really helpful in keeping me organized making sure I didn’t miss anything important.

My checklist was like my personal assistant, helping me sort through all the graduation stuff, from making sure I had all my credits to picking up my cap and gown.

Using my checklist, I was able to break down the mountain of “graduation things to do” into smaller, way less intimidating tasks.

It was like having a map through the final, crazy days of college, making sure I didn’t miss out on any of the important steps or fun stuff, like planning a little celebration with my friends.

I hope this list helps you to stay organized and prepare for your big day!

Planning a Grad Party?

I am obsessed with these SUPER cute grad party ideas for 2024. Check it out for inspiration. You did it and you deserve to celebrate!

Here are 7 Key items to consider as you create your checklist:

1. Academic Requirements

  • Verify Degree Requirements: Ensure all graduation requirements are met with your academic advisor.
  • Check for Holds: Clear any holds on your account.
  • Submit Final Projects/Theses: Complete and submit required projects or theses.
  • Apply for Graduation: Submit your graduation application by the deadline.
  • Request Official Transcripts: Order your official transcripts for future needs.
  • Collect Important Documents: Gather your diploma, certificates, and any honors received.
  • Alumni Association Membership: Consider joining to stay connected and network.

2. Financial Matters

  • Clear Outstanding Balances: Pay all tuition fees and fines.
  • Financial Aid Exit Counseling: Complete the required sessions if you received financial aid.
  • Understand Loan Repayment: Know your student loan repayment options.
  • Budget for Graduation Expenses: Allocate funds for graduation-related costs.
  • Scholarship and Grant Reporting: Report your graduation to scholarship or grant providers if necessary.

3. Career Preparation

  • Visit Career Services: For resume review, job search assistance, and networking.
  • Attend Job Fairs: Connect with potential employers.
  • Network: Engage with alumni, professors, and professionals in your field.
  • Update LinkedIn and Resume: Ensure they reflect your latest achievements.
  • Explore Further Education: If considering, research programs and deadlines.
  • Mentorship: Seek a mentor for guidance in your career field.

4. Commencement Details

  • Order Cap and Gown: Purchase or rent your regalia.
  • Graduation Tickets: Secure tickets for the ceremony.
  • Plan for Guests: Arrange accommodations and transportation for visitors.
  • Know the Schedule: Be aware of the ceremony and related events’ timings and locations.
  • Special Accommodations: Arrange in advance for any required.
  • Attend Rehearsal: Participate in the ceremony rehearsal if available.
  • Confirm Details with Family/Friends: Make sure your guests know all necessary details.

5. Celebrations and Personal Touches

  • Professional Attire: Decide what to wear underneath your cap and gown.
  • Announcements and Thank You Cards: Order and send out as needed.
  • Photography: Arrange for professional or personal photography.
  • Plan a Graduation Party: If desired, organize a celebration. (more details below)
  • Create a Memory Book or Video: Compile memories from your education journey.
  • Reflect and Set Goals: Take time to look back on your achievements and plan for the future.

6. Day of the Ceremony

  • Arrive Early: Get to the venue well before the start.
  • Check-in: Locate and report to the graduate check-in area.
  • Personal Items: Bring only essentials due to limited storage.
  • Emergency Kit: Pack a small kit with safety pins, band-aids, etc.
  • Device Charging: Ensure your devices are fully charged.
  • Thank You Notes: Write notes to those who have supported your journey.

7. Graduation Party Planning

Check my absolute favorite graduation party ideas for some inspiration.

  • Set a Date and Time: Choose a date that doesn’t conflict with your graduation ceremony.
  • Create a Budget: Determine your spending limits.
  • Choose a Venue: Decide on the location for your party.
  • Guest List: Compile a list of attendees.
  • Invitations: Send out invitations with all the essential details.
  • Theme and Decorations: Select a theme and decorate accordingly.
  • Catering and Menu: Plan your party menu or catering, considering dietary restrictions.
  • Entertainment and Activities: Arrange for music, games, or other entertainments.
  • Photography: Set up a photo area or hire a photographer.
  • Thank You Gifts: Prepare small gifts for your guests.
  • Speech or Toast: Prepare a few words to thank your guests and celebrate your achievement.
  • Emergency Kit: Have a kit ready for any party mishaps.
  • Plan for Cleanup: Arrange for post-party cleanup.


The journey to graduation can indeed feel like a mix of excitement and nerves. But with a good graduation checklist by your side, you can navigate this transition with confidence.

It’s more than just a to-do list; it’s a roadmap to conquering the final college hurdles and stepping into the future ready for whatever comes next.

My own experience showed me that something as simple as a checklist could make a world of difference, turning overwhelming chaos into organized steps towards success.

So, as you gear up for your big day, lean on your checklist to keep you on track, ensuring you soak up every last moment of college life while smoothly sailing into your next adventure.

Here’s to making your graduation preparation a breeze and to the exciting journey ahead!

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