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What to Do If You Lost Your College Diploma

Like many others, you probably lost your college diploma because of improper storage, an accident or just plain carelessness. In any case, what matters is that you have options for having it replaced.

Get in touch with the Office of the Registrar at your university or college.

We all know that maintaining student records and transcripts is one of the main responsibilities of a school registrar. 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. Not even your spouse and immediate family members will be given access to your academic information. There are practically zero options for this, but there is an exception: if the owner of the requested credentials is deceased and the alumnus’ next of kin or estate executor is the one making the request. 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.

Expect a fee.

Again, while the rules are different for each school, a replacement diploma request will probably come with a fee of about $25 to $150.

Only mailed requests are processed.

With most schools being FERPA-compliant, you will have to mail your request for diploma replacement in keeping with the rules. Again, there are no other options, and the purpose is quite simpl to prevent fraud and identity theft. If is common for schools to have downloadable diploma replacement request forms on their website. This is typically a PDF that you can print and fill out by hand, and then you need to have it notarized before sending it to your alma mater’s registrar.

When Your Replacement Diploma Takes Too Long

Getting a replacement diploma often takes some time – about five to seven weeks or much longer sometimes. If you need it urgently, as when you’re applying for a job, you may want to consider other options, such as getting a substitute diploma.

A substitute or temporary diploma apparently has no official use, but it can satisfy the purpose for which your original diploma is intended. There are several websites that offer this among many other options, but do ensure that you research the background of the service that you plan to use. Losing your diploma enough headache. The last thing you want is being scammed.

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