What benefits can I get after graduation?

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You’ve taken four years of college classes, you’ve donned the cap and gown, and left your alma mater behind, now what?

 

“While it is a challenge to reach a lot of people with different interests, we try to engage alumni with career, spiritual, cultural and sporting events. It makes us put on our thinking caps to find what is the most meaningful for alums to participate in," said Kyra Lyons, assistant vice president for alumni relations at Catholic U.

Have you ever wondered what your school has to offer after getting your degree?

 

It doesn’t matter if you graduated a few months ago or 10 years ago, many institutions of higher learning offer benefits to alumni, including Catholic University in Washington, Christendom College in Front Royal, Georgetown University in Washington and Marymount University in Arlington. Catholic Distance University also offers benefits to grads of their online program.

 

Don’t assume the alumni association only exists to head fundraising drives — they also play an important role in managing benefits for graduates.

 

Alumni benefits range from special, alumni-only events to discounted tickets for sporting events or theater productions, and offers for insurance plans and credit cards.

 

One of the biggest perks is the opportunity to audit a class at a reduced rate. Auditing is for personal and professional enrichment, and typically doesn’t count toward a future degree. Some schools, such as Marymount, even offer free parking passes for the semester the class is being audited.

 

The savings don’t end there.

 

Schools may partner with local businesses and organizations to offer travel discounts, fee waivers for graduate program applications, special rates on real estate and insurance services, and discounted or free memberships to campus recreational facilities such as the gym, pool or fitness center. Some schools may also offer a special rate to rent space on campus for events.

 

Other practical benefits include library borrowing privileges, access to career resources including online job postings and career coaching, inclusion in business directories, lifetime email accounts, volunteer opportunities, eligibility for credit union accounts, alumni association awards, outreach to other alums, and a student ID.

 

For grads considering a religious vocation, there may even be a plan to postpone loan repayments or wipe out your debt if you are entering an order that takes a vow of poverty.

 

Several schools also offer programs for alums to be school ambassadors and help recruit and mentor new students.

 

Being an alumni isn’t all about attending homecoming or class reunions. Grads are part of a large network of professionals. Reminiscing about your time on campus might just open doors to an interview, or an introduction to an important business contact.

 

“Being a part of a world-wide community of like-minded individuals who share a common ground is the biggest benefit we offer to alumni,” said Anna Sody, director of alumni relations at Marymount.

 

Vince Criste, assistant director of alumni and donor relations at Christendom College, said that “one of the most important things we offer, besides career services and events, is the spiritual connection and rebuilding friendships on campus. There are special bonds built at a small school, and we offer a chance for alumni to connect through prayer requests and even daily Masses.”

 

Many schools also keep grads informed about events on campus via newsletters or email lists. Make sure to register with the alumni association to stay informed. If you moved away from the city where you attended college, many large cities have alumni clubs.

 

“While it is a challenge to reach a lot of people with different interests, we try to engage alumni with career, spiritual, cultural and sporting events. It makes us put on our thinking caps to find what is the most meaningful for alums to participate in,” said Kyra Lyons, assistant vice president for alumni relations at Catholic University. “If it isn’t meeting the needs of the alumni, then it isn’t beneficial.”

 

Check out what your school has to offer. You never know, you might be sitting in class elbow to elbow with freshmen once again.

 

Find out what benefits are available

 

Catholic University
Go to cuatoday.com or email cua-alumni@cua.edu.

Catholic Distance University
Go to cdu.edu or email registrar@cdu.edu.

Christendom College
Go to christendom.edu/alumni/ or email vince.criste@christendom.edu.

Georgetown University
Go to Alumni.georgetown.edu or email alumnihouse@georgetown.edu.

Marymount University
Go to mualumni.marymount.edu or email alumni@marymount.edu.

 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2017