The Ultimate Guide to

What to Do In Case You Lose Your College Diploma

Like many others, you probably lost your college diploma because of improper storage, an accident or just plain carelessness. Regardless, there are options available in terms of getting a replacement.

Contact the Office of the Registrar at your alma mater.

We all know that one of the main duties of a registrar is to keep student records and transcripts. Part of this task is handling requests for diploma replacement. Keep in mind though that this is something on you can do and no one else.

Since 1974, a law known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) has been protecting the privacy of student records in all schools in America. Even your family, including your spouse (if any), cannot access your school records. There are absolutely no options this, except when the owner of the requested records has passed on and the one requesting is the next of kin or estate executor of the alumnus In that case, although the exact requirements will vary from school to school, the requester will likely have to submit a written request, photocopies of the deceased’s death certificate and the requester’s driver’s license or passport, and a Power of Attorney.



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Expect a fee.

Again, although each school will have its own requirements, it’s likely that there will be a fee – usually around $25 to $150 – for a diploma replacement request.

Requests should be mailed.

Considering that most schools are FERPA-compliant, you will need to mail your request for diploma replacement as per that law. Again, there will be no other options, and the purpose is to reduce the chances of identity theft and fraud in general. If is common for schools to have downloadable diploma replacement request forms on their website. It usually comes as a PDF that you can print from your computer – just fill it out manually, have it notarized, and then snail mail it to the school.

As You Wait for Your Replacement Diploma

Getting a replacement diploma often takes some time – about five to seven weeks or much longer sometimes. If your need is urgent though (for instance, if you’ve been scheduled for a job interview), you might have to look into other options, like getting a temporary diploma.

A substitute or temporary diploma apparently has no official use, but it can satisfy the purpose for which your original diploma is intended. Online, you will find a good number of websites that provide options such as this, but do make sure they’re legit before transacting with them. Not having your official diploma on hand is trouble enough. The last thing you want is being scammed.

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