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The Final Lap: senior year survival guide

Graduation is fast approaching and with it comes the burden of transitioning to full-time work in professional fields. Learning how to make senior year efficient and painless while keeping up with the relevant graduation news is widely overlooked. These tips are for those seniors who want to make sure they’re on pace to graduate in December or May.

Schedule senior audit sooner rather than later

In the past, students have waited too long to schedule their senior audit and then they’re a week away from graduation. No one wants to be the bearer of bad news to the student who neglected to take care of this important task.

Go to the registrar’s office to schedule your senior audit. No need to bring anything to the meeting other than knowledge of how many classes one has left. Senior audit papers, which students get to keep, explicitly state how many credit hours they’ve taken and how many they have left to complete.

Apply to graduate

This can be completed on Vision. It will seem anti-climactic because the student will be waiting, almost in limbo, for a notification indicating they are in fact graduating. But when the student hits “submit” on the application to graduate, the student’s name and Z-number are placed on a master list of soon-to-be graduates. This list is found in the registrar’s office about a month away from the graduation date.

Keep track of ORU email

After students apply to graduate, they will be receiving emails from Student Services and Financial Aid regarding exit loan interviews. This meeting is where students are told how much money they owe and how quickly interest will accrue.

Keep up with senior paper or senior project

In general, if students think they don’t need to work on it, they probably do. Make sure to do it right the first time. It is the conclusive end to one’s undergraduate degree. Students need to feel utterly confident heading into their paper or project defense.

After graduation, students don’t immediately receive their diploma

For those graduating in December, diplomas will be printed and mailed throughout January and February. For those graduating in May, diplomas will be mailed later in the summer. The registrar’s office simply needs time to process every single graduate and make sure the mailing address is correctly labeled.

While these are not the only tips to remember, these are the ones most seniors learn after trial and error. Become acquainted with the registrar’s office, student accounts and financial aid. They are here to help and they love it when students are already prepared.