Regardless of the age or academic level, graduation is an exciting time. A graduation ceremony signifies accomplishment and serves as the conclusion of one phase of life and the commencement of another. Schools can win the support of the surrounding communities by advertising graduation exercises and encouraging attendance. However, these methods will likely vary depending on the institution.


University graduation ceremonies are usually large undertakings, with much larger class sizes than high schools or community colleges. Many graduating students will have already ordered and sent graduation announcements and invitations, but you can increase attendance through advertising.

A good place to start advertising is with your alumni network. You can reach out to university alumni through your alumni publication, club or LinkedIn group. Publish the graduation program in these venues, since alumni might be more encouraged to come to see a particular professor or speaker.

Community College

If you're planning a community college graduation, start advertising internally. A good place to start is your college newspaper or magazine. Place a special section in the publication about the upcoming graduation exercises and point out the highlights, such as who will be speaking or performing. You may also want to list the graduates of note, especially the valedictorian and salutatorian. Encourage students to support their upper-classmates and their school by attending. If your college has a page on Facebook or a LinkedIn group, don't forget to publish information about the graduation there as well.

High School

High school graduations can become uniting community events if advertised effectively. Create banners with the time and date of the graduation and display them not only at the high school, but at other schools within the district. If your high school has a scrolling marquis, publish information on the graduation along with an invitation to attend several weeks in advance. You can also encourage students to send their own invitations by providing them free of charge or at a discounted rate. Contact local businesses and ask if they would allow you to post a flyer on the door or wall of their office or store. Most local businesses will be happy to help boost community involvement for the graduation.

Elementary and Middle School

While often overlooked, elementary and middle school graduations are still important to the graduating student and their families. Showing support at these events can encourage young students to continue their education and graduate from high school and even college. At the younger ages, it can be a great idea to get the graduating students themselves involved in the graduation advertising. Have all the elementary school classes make invitations and posters for the graduation. Ask the students to distribute their handmade invitations to their families and friends, regardless of whether they are graduating themselves. For older students, you might hold a contest to create an advertisement for the graduation. The winning advertisement can then be printed and distributed to students’ families and local businesses and organizations.