Preparing for graduation

Make finishing your degree as painless as possible, and remember to do these important things before you get that piece of paper that you've worked so hard for.

The Dal Tiger mascot wears a graduation cap and gown and stands outside, arms spread wide. Soon you'll be as free as this guy right here!

As a soon-to-be graduate, I've come to terms with the fact that this my final undergrad semester. I’m now looking ahead to a new chapter in my life, and I’m guessing that many of you are as well. To help us out, I put together a quick guide of what you need to know about graduating from Dal.


Applying for graduation

In order to get your degree, you actually have to apply for graduation. Make sure that all of your credits are in check by completing a degree audit through Dal Online. If you have any questions about meeting the requirements for your major, certificate, specialization, or degree overall, it’s a good idea to touch base with an academic advisor.


Money moves

Make sure that you pay off your balances and graduation fees, otherwise you won't receive that parchment you've been working so hard towards! You can check any outstanding balances by going to Dal Online > Student Records > Account Detail by Term. If your account balance is zero, you’re in the clear. If you do need to make a payment, be aware that it will take 2–3 business days for the amount to show up on your account. If there's a negative balance, it means that there's extra money on the account which you can request to be sent to you via cheque. Any further questions you may have can be answered by Student Accounts.


Learn about your loans

If you relied on government funding for your education and aren't returning to full-time studies, it's important to look into that status of your student loans. I know it can be scary to log in and check the balance, but you need to know what different repayment programs and schedules you qualify for. For example, if you have a Canada Student Loan, there's a 6-month non-repayment period after you graduate. During that period, you won’t have to make payments and you won’t be charged interest on your loan. You'll also need to look into what grace periods and repayment plans are available for your specific provincial loans.


Plan for a safe celebration

Though convocation will look a little different this year, it doesn't take away from the magnitude of your accomplishments. You deserve your day to (safely) celebrate this milestone! Consider hosting your own remote watch party for the virtual ceremony or a small in-person gathering within your bubble that meets all the COVID-19 restrictions wherever you live.


To all my fellow graduates this year, congratulations on achieving this milestone in your life!