Commencement Application


It is the student's responsibility to complete the application steps as follows:

  1. For each major, obtain an Application for Commencement from the Registrar's Office or an academic advisor. You can also fill out and print the online form linked here.
  2. Complete the Candidates section of the application.
  3. Take the application to your advisor.
  4. Visit the Herff-Jones website to order graduation kit (cap, gown & tassel). See step 7 below for further information.
  5. Submit application to the Registrar's office for final approval prior to the announced deadline. The student may do this if appropriate signatures are obtained.
  6. All applicants must have completed all requirements by the end of the semester applied for if they plan to participate in Commencement Ceremony.

Your Commencement Ceremony!

We are sure you have worked very hard to achieve your educational goals, and we would like to help recognize your success. In order to be awarded a degree, diploma and/or certificate, the Registrar's Office must receive an Application for Commencement. This is the only way we know that you are ready to complete your program. 

Steps you need to complete in order for the Registrar's Office to know you are ready to graduate. 

1. Apply: 

Meet with your advisor to complete the Application for Commencement.  Applications will not be accepted after this announced deadline. Late applications will not be processed for the current term. Late applicants will need to submit an application for the following term.

2. Clear Debts:

a. Students must pay all debts owed to the College at the Business Office, Library or to whomever necessary to clear student record holds.

b. Complete Financial Aid Exit Counseling for student loans.  Contact the Financial Aid Office at financialaid[at]southwesterncc[dot]edu for further information.

3. Order: 

**Contact the bookstore first to see if they have materials.  You may not need to order online.**  

If the bookstore does not have your size, you will need to visit the Herff-Jones website to order your cap, gown & tassel if you plan to participate in the commencement ceremony. You do not pay for the kit online, only place your order. Herff-Jones will ship your order to the bookstore, where you may pick up and pay.  Their web address is (

This is the only fee associated with graduation (approximately $45). From this website you may also order announcements and class rings (at an additional cost). The bookstore can be reached by calling 828.339.4222. 

If you do not plan to participate in the ceremony, you may visit the Registrar's Office during the week of graduation to pick up a diploma cover. 

4. Celebrate: Attend the Commencement Ceremony in the Norman K. Myers Auditorium of the Balsam Center. This building is located on the Jackson Campus in Sylva.  

Rehearsal - in the auditorium.

Ceremony - Held in the Balsam Center Norman K. Myers Auditorium

5. Wait - Be Patient: Diplomas will be mailed to the address you provided on your graduation application within 6 - 8 weeks following graduation.  Should your address information change after you submit the application, contact Beth Kabinoff from your student email account or in person to make a change.  We will email student accounts, and will post an announcement on our website once they have been mailed. Refer to the website for the status of diplomas.

Should you need proof of graduation for an employer or another school before you receive your diploma, we must receive a written transcript request.  Transcript release forms are located in the Registrar's Office or on our website and can be downloaded and viewed by clicking the link to the .pdf file at the bottom of this page.  You can submit them now for after graduation processing.   

Need Special Assistance?

Graduation is a physical activity.  Due to injuries or disabilities sometimes it is a challenge.  If you will be needing special assistance to walk into the auditorium, climb the stairs to the stage, walk across the stage, descend the stairs, hear or see the ceremony, or any other activity related to graduation - please contact Tonya Bassé, Disability Services Coordinator (Oaks Hall Rm G-15, 828.339.4326, t_basse[at]southwesterncc[dot]edu).