The University of Iowa

RSVP

Please Note

The RSVP portal for spring 2021 is now open. The deadline to RSVP and submit a slide photo is Thursday, April 22 at 11:59 p.m. and RSVP Technical Support closes at 4:30 p.m. on April 22 This deadline is firm and non-negotiable. Updates about the RSVP and other important virtual commencement information will be emailed to all eligible degree applicants and will be communicated to those who subscribe to the spring 2021 subscription list.

What is RSVP?

The abbreviation RSVP comes from the French phrase répondez s'il vous plaît, which means “please reply.”

In the case of commencement, we need to know if you are planning on participating in a ceremony! The RSVP process at IOWA is an Opt-In system. Only students who RSVP "Yes" by the deadline will be recognized at the ceremonies. 

The RSVP portal is located in MyUI within the Degrees/Graduation Tile by clicking on Commencement Attendance. 

 

Step One: Apply for Degree

Graduation and commencement are two related, but separate processes.

Applying for degree will start the process of degree conferral and diploma delivery; RSVPing "Yes" will allow you to be individually recognized during the commencement ceremonies.

You MUST apply for degree via the MyUI portal before you can RSVP for a commencement ceremony.

  • Please Note: Many students think that once they've applied for degree they are automatically RSVP'd for the commencement ceremony, this is not true.

 

Step Two: Tell us your Plans!

The Commencement at IOWA team chose to utilize an Opt-In based solution for the RSVP system. Students must RSVP Yes via the RSVP portal located in MyUI within the Degrees/Graduation Tile by clicking on Commencement Attendance to be included. The deadline to RSVP and upload a slide photo is April 22, 2021 at 11:59 p.m., and RSVP Technical Support closes at 4:30 p.m. on April 22.

Students are NOT automatically enrolled into the RSVP system. Students must take direct action to be included in the ceremonies. 

  • Please note: There is an Opt-Out feature in the RSVP system, but this does not mean anyone has been automatically enrolled. This is only meant to indicate a student's intent not to participate. We highly encourage students to choose an option one way or the other; it allows us to better allocate our resources. 

 

Step Three: Verify Information

The RSVP system in MyUI is tied directly into our Student Information System which will pull the most up-to-date information we have on file. Students who wish to participate will choose Standard or Preferred Name (where applicable). To ensure the highest possibility that your name will be pronounced correctly during the ceremony, all students who RSVP attending will be required to provide name pronunciation information. For help with how to best provide this information, click HERE

Step Four: Add a Photo! (Optional)

The RSVP system allows students to upload and crop a photo to be used on their individual recognition slide. Submitting a photo is optional. A photo can be uploaded or changed until the RSVP deadline on April 22, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. After that date, no edits will be possible.

If you encounter difficulty uploading your photo, it's possible the file is too big. Please try resizing your photo and attempt to upload again. While the RSVP deadline is 11:59 p.m. on April 22, RSVP Techincal Support closes at 4:30 p.m. on April 22.

Things to note about photo submissions:

  • photo should be of the graduating student and only the student
  • student should be the focus of the photo
  • use a device larger than a cell phone to verify photo quality
  • colleges will individually approve or reject each photo submitted. If a student's photo is not approved, the student will be contacted directly by their college.

Step 5: Submit Your RSVP!

When filling out the RSVP, students must provide all required information before their RSVP response is saved. If any required information is missed, a message will pop up indicating what required information is needed before their RSVP can be saved.  

After submitting the RSVP, students can edit their response information until the RSVP deadline. The RSVP deadline is Thursday, April 22 at 11:59 p.m. and RSVP Technical Support closes at 4:30 p.m. on April 22. This deadline is firm and non-negotiable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please see below for answers to questions we typically receive.

If you do not see the information you're looking for, or if you have any other questions, please contact UI-commencement@uiowa.edu.

The RSVP process opens on Monday, March 8 and closes on Thursday, April 22 at 11:59 p.m. Students must RSVP by the deadline to be included in a ceremony. After April 22, it will not be possible to add RSVPs, as after that date the Office of Strategic Communications will be working to produce 16 unique virtual commencement ceremonies.  

Students who have an active degree application on for the current commencement session, individuals with a conferred degree in the past calendar year, and students who have a degree application on for a future commencement session (one session forward) will see the RSVP link in MyUI. 

After logging in to MyUI, click the Degrees/Graduation tile on the Home page. Under the Graduation header on the next page, select the Commencement Attendance link. Next, click on the RSVP link to access the RSVP form. Students must click a box at the end of the RSVP to save their response.

Students will only see one RSVP link in MyUI, but they will respond for each ceremony individually. If a student wants to participate in both ceremonies, they can copy their first response into the second response, or they can enter different information (such as a different picture).

No message will be sent, but RSVP response information can be confirmed in MyUI in two ways:

  1. A timestamp will appear near the top of the RSVP form after submitting your response. This timestamp will remain even if a student leaves the screen or logs out of MyUI. It will only change if a new response is recorded.
    Picture shows commencement participation timestamp on commencement RSVP.
  2. Your RSVP response will be recorded and visible on the Commencement Attendance Panel directly below your degree information. Response information can be updated until the deadline.

image shows commencement attendance response on the commencement attendance panel

Students who have an active degree application on for the current commencement session, individuals with a conferred degree in the past calendar year, and students who have a degree application on for a future commencement session (one session forward) will be able to download the commencement slide approximately two weeks prior to the commencement ceremony for that session. 

A photo can be added to an individual's slide by accessing the RSVP and indicating they plan to attend their ceremony. Individuals who RSVP no, do not reply, or are ineligible to RSVP due to programming rules will have a slide but will not be able to add a photo. Finalized slides without a picture will have text shifted to the left compared to the draft.

Slides will change from Draft to Final status approximately two weeks prior to the commencement ceremonies for that session. 

All degree applicants have the ability to download their graduation slide in MyUI, irregardless of participation in virtual commencement. To download your slide, complete the following steps:

  • Login to MyUI
  • Click on the Student Information tab
  • Click on Commencement Attendance
  • Click on View Slide
  • Right click to download your slide

Individuals who choose to participate in commencement will have the opportunity to upload a photo to be displayed on their commencement slide. Adding a photo is optional. 

A few notes about choosing a photo for your commencement slide:

  • Photo should be of you and only you
  • You should be the focal point of the photo. Photos can be cropped within the RSVP page.
  • Photos will be reviewed by your college(s) and are subject to removal. If your photo is not approved, you will be contacted and will have the opportunity to upload a new photo. 
  • To verify photo quality, individuals are strongly encouraged to preview their slide photo on a computer screen, instead of a phone or other small personal device. Keep in mind your slide will be viewed on televisions during the virtual ceremonies.