An item of clothing that is always in demand during spring and winter school seasons is the graduation cap and gown, which students are required to wear in order to walk for graduation. When colleges require students to pay for a cap and gown, it can be a financial burden on families, resulting in some students not being able to attend the graduation ceremony (although they can still receive the diploma). Students who can't afford graduation gowns can turn to donations from students who have already graduated. The community has several options for donating caps and gowns for students who need them.

Clean and examine your graduation gown to evaluate its condition. Before it can be donated, the gown should be free of stains or tears. Note the color of the gown, since schools have their own colors.

Contact the student affairs department of the university you graduated from, or the front office of your high school. Ask whether they have any donation services for submitting caps and gowns for commencement.

Post an ad on social networking and shopping sites such as Craigslist, your university's free classified ads, eBay, Amazon or Etsy. You never know where people may be looking for caps and gowns.

Donate the graduation gown to a local thrift store or vintage clothing store located near a campus, where students shop for gently worn clothing and accessories.

Contact local theater companies, costume shops and elementary and high schools, who may need graduation gowns for costumes.


When donating your gown and cap, always present it on a hanger and in clean, ironed condition.

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