FAQs

Commencement Day

What time should I arrive?

Tickets allow guests access into the commencement ceremony, but do not reserve a specific seat. All seating is available on a first come, first ushered basis. We recommend arriving when the door opens an hour and a half prior to the ceremony. Doors will open an hour and a half before the ceremony starts for guests to start claiming their seats.

How long is commencement?

The commencement ceremony will last between 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

Can I purchase flowers on campus for my graduate?

Graduation Day Flowers will be on campus selling orchid leis and bouquets for graduates on commencement day. Students and guests are encouraged to pre-order for pick up before the ceremony so they can wear their leis on stage and in pictures.

Graduation Day Flowers allows family and friends to save time by placing a bouquet or lei pre-order. Shop now and benefit from promotional pricing.

Order Now

Can I take a photo of my graduate as they walk on stage?

You are welcome to photograph and videotape the ceremony from your seat, but please be courteous to those around you. We have a professional photography company that will be taking pictures of your graduate.

Graduates will be emailed their photos after commencement with purchasing options. Remember that we are filming as well, and will be providing a high-quality DVD and Digital Download for an incredible price.


Tickets

Where do I get my tickets?

Graduating students should have received an email with a link and instructions to fill out a ticket request form. Students may request up to 8 tickets for their guests. After students complete the ticket request form, tickets will be sent via email to all graduating students’ Biola email addresses in 1-3 business days. Tickets will open in PDF format once you click on the link provided in the email, each with a unique barcode.

To find your tickets, search your email for "Biola University Print at Home Tickets." If you have not found them after three business days please email tickets@biola.edu.

Do I need to print out my ticket?

Graduates are instructed to distribute tickets to their guests in digital or printed form. For ease of distributing tickets to your guests, we recommend using the Walletini app. Login with your Biola email and your tickets will be uploaded to the app. Through this app you can transfer tickets to any of your guests who also have an account. This is the easiest and quickest way to share tickets with your guests.

Guests will be asked to show tickets for entrance into the ceremony. Tickets can be shown on a mobile device or on a printed hard copy to be scanned in.

Can I purchase extra tickets?

Yes, please see the banner on the home page for a link to purchase.

Does my ticket reserve me a specific seat?

Tickets allow guests access into the commencement ceremony, but do not reserve a specific seat. All seating is available on a first come, first ushered basis. All guests are required to have a ticket to enter the commencement ceremony, except for children who will be sitting with a family member and not using an additional seat.

The Ticket Sales Team will be facilitating commencement ticket distribution. If you have any questions concerning tickets, please contact the Ticket Sales Team at tickets@biola.edu or (562) 906–4510 ext. 4510. Please contact University Events with all other commencement-related questions.


Venue Policies and Procedures

Am I allowed to bring strollers into the commencement ceremony?

There will be a stroller parking area outside of the venue due to space restrictions and fire regulations. We recommend leaving strollers at home or in your car, if possible.

Are wheelchairs allowed in the commencement venue?

Yes, there will be an accessible entrance and seating available for guests at the ceremony, please ask users as you enter to direct you. We can only ensure one companion seat due to limited space, however the rest of your party is welcome to sit in the chairs near by.

Are selfie sticks and other photography devices allowed inside the venue?

Yes, you are welcome to photograph and videotape the ceremony from your seat, but please be courteous to those around you. Graduates are not allowed to take selfies when onstage with any device.

What is not allowed in the venue?

Balloons, large gifts, coolers, and noisemakers are not allowed inside. Please leave these items in your car or check them at the commencement entrance.

What happens if it rains on Commencement day?

Commencement will take place on Metzger Lawn rain or shine. Traditionally, May weather in Southern California is moderate. However, please check the forecast for more accurate conditions and plan accordingly.


Grad Supplies

Where can I purchase my cap and gown?

Students can purchase caps, gowns, tassels and invitations at the Biola Store. If you have any questions, please contact the Biola Store at biola@bkstr.com or (562) 903-4883.

Are there grad announcements or invitations I can order?

General Biola University commencement invitations can be purchased through the Biola Store. Personalized invitations must be purchased in advance from Jostens, and it takes two to three weeks to receive your invitations.

You may order these invitations online anytime at www.jostens.com.

Can I put a message in the yearbook for my graduate?

Parents can commemorate their graduating senior's accomplishment by placing a personalized message for them in the yearbook. The Biolan design team will customize your ad for you! Spaces are limited, so please reserve your spot by February 27, 2017.

Ads can be purchased in quarter and half sized pages. Please contact biolaned@biola.edu for more information.

Will there be a professional photographer at commencement?

GradImages will be the official photographer for your commencement ceremony. Your photographs will be available online for viewing and ordering as soon as possible. There is no obligation to purchase, and free photo proofs will be sent in as little as 72 hours after your event.

For more information, visit www.gradimages.com. If you have questions about your commencement photos or need help ordering, please contact Grad Images directly: giservice@gradimages.net, www.gradimages.com 800-261-2576.


Ceremony Details

Will I receive my diploma at the ceremony?

After graduation, your diploma will be mailed to your permanent address listed on my.biola. However, your diploma cannot be released until your financial obligations and other holds are cleared.

Official copies of your transcript cost $8 through the Office of the Registrar with the submission of a transcript request form found at https://studenthub.biola.edu/transcripts. Unofficial transcripts will be available under the Alumni tab on my.Biola.

Will the graduate's name be read at the ceremony?

Yes, every graduate's name will be read during the presentation of degrees.

Where can I get a recording of the ceremony?

Biola will be producing a commemorative DVD of your commencement ceremony. This DVD will feature the full commencement message from your speaker, as well as special features, such as a La Mirada campus tour, a special message from President Barry H. Corey and the ability to jump forward to individual graduates divided by major.

These DVDs are only $34.99 including shipping and are available through the commencement website. If you order your DVD on or before the day of your commencement ceremony, you will receive an additional copy at no charge. Biola will also be offering a digital download option for each ceremony. Details will follow in later commencement communication.

Will the ceremony be livestreamed?

A live internet feed of the ceremonies will be available from the Biola homepage, www.biola.edu.


After Graduation

What do I need to do about my student loans?

As all loans must be paid back, the federal government has made it mandatory that student borrowers complete Loan Exit Counseling prior to graduation. This counseling will explain and help you understand your loan repayment. Please complete the following online counseling for each category in which you received a loan. To determine the loans you received while at Biola University, please reference your Financial Aid documents or your student account billing statements (be sure to check documents for all years of attendance, as you may have received different loan types in different years).

Category 1: Loans held by Biola University

Complete online counseling if you have any of the following loans:

  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Federal Nursing Loan
  • Biola University Loan
  • Hermann Institutional Loan
  • Freeman-Aitken-Sommerville (FAS) Institutional Loan
  • Helen Grace Colbert Yates Institutional Loan

If it is your first time logging in, you will need your Heartland Key, which can be obtained by calling Heartland ECSI at (888) 549-3274 (Biola's school code is RG). If you have any questions regarding a loan in Category 1, please contact the Educational Loan Specialist or Administrator in the Accounting office at (562) 903-4760.

Category 2: Stafford Loan

Complete Exit Loan Counseling

If you have any questions regarding a loan in Category 2 please call the Financial Aid Office at (562) 903-4742.

How do I get a copy of my transcripts?

Your transcripts and diploma cannot be released until your financial obligations and other holds are cleared. Official transcripts may be requested via the internet (https://studenthub.biola.edu/transcripts - select "Order Transcripts").

Unofficial transcripts may be printed from my.Biola. For more information, please contact the Office of the Registrar (562-903-4720).

What are some resources Biola offers me as a recent graduate?

Career Services

Career Services offers career services, a full library of resources for job opportunities, and an alumni networking program.

For more information, contact Career Services:

Phone: (562) 903-4875

Website: https://www.biola.edu/career-development


Alumni

Alumni are entitled to numerous benefits that include free parking on campus, library access, insurance eligibility, discounts on tickets to various theme parks, Biola events, hotel chains, and much more.

Website: http://offices.biola.edu/alumni/


Commencement Tickets

By now, graduates should have received an email with a direct link to the ticket request form. Graduates can request up to 8 complimentary tickets.


Stroller and Balloon Policy

Due to limited capacity, strollers and balloons must be checked in at the designated table prior to the commencement ceremony. Please prepare accordingly.