Graduate in cap and gown

Graduation & Commencement – Frequently Asked Questions

Graduation Eligibility

  • Commencement – Live VideoHow do I know if I am eligible to graduate?
    Candidates for graduation must meet all academic requirements. All graduation candidates must
    complete a degree application to graduate.
  • How do I apply for graduation?
    Degree Applications are available through your Tiger Connect Account on the Graduation Tab. Look under "Apply for My Degree Online."
  • Is there a deadline to submit my degree application?
    Yes, degree applications must be submitted by the following dates; October 1 for fall degree completion, March 1 for spring degree completion and July 1 for summer degree completion.
  • Do I have to pay a fee to graduate?
    No. Cowley College does not charge a fee to graduate. Graduation candidates who choose to participate in the Commencement Ceremony will be charged $25 for the cap, gown and tassel. The $25 apparel fee must be paid in full at the Cowley Bookstore prior to receiving your commencement apparel.

About Commencement

  • What is Commencement?
    Commencement is the formal ceremony which recognizes and celebrates graduation candidates. Students, who completed degree requirements in July and December, as well as those who expect to complete their requirements in May and July, will be invited to participate in the Spring Commencement Ceremony.
  • When is Commencement?
    Commencement is Saturday, May 8, 2021. There will be two ceremonies, 10:00 a.m. (AA, AFA, AGS Degrees) and 1:00 p.m. (AS, AAS Degrees, Technical Certificates)
  • Are masks required?
    Yes, all persons entering the venue are required to wear masks and maintain social distancing protocols.
  • What if I am awarded multiple degrees?

    Students awarded multiple degrees but are split between commencement ceremonies must choose one ceremony to participate. Please notify the registrar's office when you plan to participate.

  • Where will Commencement be held?
    Commencement will be held at the W.S. Scott Auditorium located at the corner of 2nd Street and Fifth Avenue on the main campus in Arkansas City. Check the master calendar for the exact date.
  • Are tickets required for graduates or guests?
    Yes, each graduate will receive four guest tickets with their cap and gown. Tickets are required to enter W.S. Scott Auditorium. Due to capacity requirements only four guests are allowed for each graduate.
  • How long does the Commencement Ceremony last?
    The Commencement Ceremony will last at least one hour.

Participating in Commencement

  • Is there a fee to participate in the Commencement Ceremony?
    Graduation candidates who choose to participate in the Commencement Ceremony will be charged $25 for the cap, gown and tassel. The $25 apparel fee must be paid in full at the Cowley Bookstore prior to receiving your commencement apparel. The Cowley Bookstore accepts cash, check and all major credit cards.
  • Will there be a rehearsal for the Commencement Ceremony?
    No. Candidates for graduation will receive instructions immediately preceding the Commencement Ceremony.
  • When and where do I go for the processional line-up?
    Due to adjusted protocols there will not be a procession. Graduates will check in at W.S. Scott Auditorium and be seated on the main floor.
  • Where can I leave my belongings during the Commencement ceremony?
    Please be aware that Cowley College is unable to provide storage space to hold candidates' personal belongings on the day of Commencement. Please only bring your cap, gown and tassel.
  • Will I be recognized individually at Commencement?
    All graduation candidates will process across the stage to be recognized individually. Actual diplomas will be mailed at a later date.
  • Will my name be in the Commencement Program?
    The program will list the names of all students who have completed the degree application and been approved for graduation. Your name will be listed as it exists in your student record.  If you have changes to your name, please contact the Registrar’s Office to be sure the correct information was included on your Degree Application. The Commencement Program is sent to the printer several weeks prior to the ceremony, and changes to the program will not be accepted after that time.
  • Will my picture be taken at Commencement?
    Cowley College has contracted with an independent photography company that will take pictures of graduates as they receive their diploma covers. Following graduation, graduates will receive information directly from the photography company about the option to purchase photos.

Cap, Gown and Tassel

  • How do I order my cap, gown and tassel?
    When you submit your degree application, you will be asked to indicate whether or not you plan to participate in the Commencement Ceremony. If you answer YES to this question, a cap, gown and tassel will be automatically ordered for you.
  • When and where can I pick up my cap, gown and tassel?
    Commencement apparel will be available for pickup approximately two weeks preceding the Commencement Ceremony. Commencement apparel will be available for pickup at the Cowley location you requested on your degree application; either the Arkansas City Bookstore, Mulvane Campus, Sumner Campus Store or the Wichita Downtown Center. Please contact the Cowley Bookstore if you are unsure where your apparel will be available for pickup.
  • Can my cap, gown and tassel be shipped to me?
    Yes. For an additional $7.95, commencement apparel can be shipped to the graduate via UPS Ground. Contact the Cowley Bookstore at (620) 441-5277 to arrange for shipment of your commencement apparel.
  • What is the cost for my cap, gown and tassel?
    Graduates participating in the Commencement Ceremony will be charged $25 for the cap, gown and tassel. The $25 apparel fee must be paid in full at the Cowley Bookstore prior to receiving your commencement apparel. The Cowley Bookstore accepts cash, check and all major credit cards.
  • Which side do I wear my tassel on?
    Before graduating, your tassel should be placed on your right. After all graduates are individually recognized, you will be instructed to move your tassel to the left.
  • Am I required to return my cap, gown and tassel after the Commencement Ceremony?
    No. Graduates are not required to return their cap, gown and tassel following the Commencement Ceremony.

Special Accommodations

Graduates attending the Commencement Ceremony who need special accommodations should contact the Student Accessibility manager. Individuals needing special parking and seating accommodations, should plan to arrive 30 minutes prior to commencement as this space is limited.


  • How do I determine if I am eligible to graduate with honors?
    Honor Graduates are those Associate Degree candidates who have achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3.75 or better and have completed at least 30 credit hours of Cowley College course work. All honor graduates will receive their honor cords with their cap, gown and tassel. Honors at the time of Commencement are based on the fall term. Honors earned after the spring term will be awarded after commencement. If you have questions concerning your eligibility to graduate with honors, please contact the Registrar’s Office.
  • How do I obtain an honor stole for the honor society, Phi Theta Kappa, of which I am a member?
    Graduating members of Phi Theta Kappa who have maintained a 3.25 grade point average are given the honor of wearing the Phi Theta Kappa honor stole at graduation. You may purchase your own personal stole to keep at or rent the stole from the local Phi Theta Kappa chapter for a $25 deposit check. After graduation, if the stole is returned in the same condition in which it was rented out, the $25 check is returned to the student. See PTK Sponsors Deborah Layton or Scott Layton  to reserve your stole.

Graduation Announcements

  • Are graduation announcements available to purchase?
    The Cowley Bookstore has contracted with CB Announcements to provide graduates with quality personalized graduation announcements. Graduates may order by phone at (800) 433-0296 or online at For your convenience, announcement samples are on display at the Ark City Bookstore, Wichita Downtown Center, Mulvane Center and can also be viewed online.


  • When will I receive my diploma?
    Graduates will NOT receive a diploma at the Commencement Ceremony. All diplomas will be mailed approximately 4-6 weeks after degree completion. ALL ACCOUNTS MUST BE SETTLED IN FULL BEFORE DIPLOMAS CAN BE RELEASED AND TRANSCRIPTS SENT.


  • Who can I contact if I have questions about Commencement?
    If you have additional questions about Commencement that have not been addressed on this page, feel free to e-mail the Registrar’s Office.