Today my college had its graduation exercises, and as I watched students march to the stage to receive their diplomas, it seemed to me that there were more "anticipated graduates" than in previous years. These are students who have not quite completed the requirements for graduation, either because they failed a course during the final semester and don't have enough credits, or it's a required course, or they didn't meet GPA requirements, or maybe other reasons. They're expected to complete the requirements during the summer, so they're allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony. They march to the stage, shake hands with the president, and get their picture taken, but the president doesn't give them a diploma. Their names are marked with an asterisk in the program, which is a recent change; until a few years ago, they were listed in a separate section at the end of the list of graduates. I'm curious, how common is this? I don't remember this being the practice when I graduated from college 35 years ago (it's reunion time again this summer!). When I first came here, I think the anticipated graduates were listed in the program (in a separate section), but didn't march to the stage. IIRC they were allowed to march starting sometime in the early 1990s. I think one rationale is that parents and other relatives may have made travel plans in advance (including non-refundable plane reservations), which would go down the drain if their son/daughter fails a class at the last minute. And then there's the emotional devastation of not being able to join one's friends in the ceremony.