Preparation tips for graduating seniors

By Abigail Chadwick, Assistant News Editor   (Courtesy Photo)

Seniors gathered in the bookstore Monday, March 12, and Tuesday, March 13, for Senior Salute. The event had various stations to help seniors complete steps for graduation preparation.

Students who could not attend or did not go to every station can still complete these steps, but some purchased items will be more expensive. Seniors who missed Senior Salute will receive an email with information on the necessary steps.

“Teri’s [Teri Walker, OBU degree counselor] going to email everybody that [didn’t] come and then they’ll have a list of places they need to go, which is basically to see all of us,” Melinda Newpher, student loan/collections manager, said. “We just try to make it simpler for these few days, so that they can get it all in one place and be done.”

Seniors must submit a graduation application. Seniors who have not submitted their graduation application yet will receive an email prompting them to do so.

“It’s not important right now, but it’s the name you want on your diploma and a diploma mailing address, stuff that will get important to you,” Walker said. “So make sure you get that to me.”

Seniors who have not completed their chapel requirements will not be able to graduate. For some, this will mean completing chapel reports.

“If they don’t meet the requirement they won’t be allowed to participate in graduation,” Sharon Eulberg, secretary to the dean of students said.

The first step in starting chapel reports is visiting Eulberg’s office.

“They have to come to me,” Eulberg said. “We look and see how many reports that they need to write and then I contact Dale Griffin and Kelley Chlouber.”

Students at Senior Salute also received information on their Stafford loan, if applicable. The form and a booklet given had information on determining the amount of money owed and how to go about paying off the loan.

“[http://www.nslds.ed.gov] is where you would be able to go online right now and see exactly how much you owe on your Stafford loan,” Newpher said. “[http://www.studentloans.gov] will tell you what to do from here, what your options are for repayment.”

Graduation tickets will be picked up the week of graduation at Eulberg’s office. An email with more details will be sent out later.

“You’ll receive an email from me that’s going to let you know to pick the tickets up. You can start picking them up the week of graduation,” Eulberg said. “You’ll come to my office to pick the tickets up.”

Seniors will have a $50 graduation fee, which must be paid before graduation. Additional fees will be applied later if seniors don’t return mail keys and books.

“If you have a mailbox key you’re going to want to be sure you return that before you leave so you don’t get charged a re-key fee,” Lisa Cook, senior student financial services counselor, said. “If you’ve rented any books or checked out any books, you want to make sure you return those so you don’t get charged. Upon leaving campus, if there’s any remaining charges or anything like that, those won’t even hit your account until the summer so make sure you open up any emails that you get from OBU.”

The campus bookstore sells both regalia (cap, gown and tassel) and alumni merchandise (shirts, stickers, mugs, and diploma frames). The 20 percent sale for alumni merchandise only applied at Senior Salute, but the price for regalia remains the same.

“We always do 20 percent off the day of Senior Salute,” Duncan Lyle. OBU bookstore manager said. “The 20 percent doesn’t apply to regalia. So, the regalia packages are always going to be $49.99 and then each individual item has its own price…You can stop by anytime between now and graduation.”

Graduation announcements and rings can be purchased online at http://www.jostens.com. However, if not ordered in time, announcements will not arrive before graduation.

“It takes three weeks to get [the announcements] and about six weeks [for the rings],” Carrie Bricker, Jostens’ sales associate, said.

While announcement prices remain the same after Senior Salute, ring prices increased by more than $100.

“We have an event special [for Senior Salute], it starts at about $269 and then if you go online it’s about $389,” Bricker said. “The announcements can be ordered online and you do not have to pay any extra online.”

One stop at Senior Salute had seniors leave an email address that they will be using after leaving OBU, so that OBU can follow-up on what seniors do after they graduate.

“We will be following up with all the graduates after graduation in that six-month window to do our reporting for the next year to show, where our graduates went to work and where they went to grad school,” Lori Hagans, director of career services and alumni engagement, said. “So, we hope everyone will respond.”

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