Steps to Take After Losing Your College Diploma

If you’re like most others, you likely lost your college diploma due to an accident, wrong storage decision or simple recklessness. In any case, what matters is that you have options for having it replaced.

Approach your alma mater’s Office of the Registrar.

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. However, you have to remember that you you will be the only one who can do that.

Since the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) was passed in 1974, the privacy of all student records in all U.S. schools has been protected. 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 such a case, while different schools will have their own requirements, basics will include a written request, a Power of Attorney, and photocopies of the alumnus’ death certificate and the requester’s ID (driver’s license or passport).

Prepare to pay a fee.

Again, though schools may have their unique requirements, a replacement diploma request fee, ranging from $25 to $150, will likely be in the picture.

You have to mail your request.

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. 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

In most cases, getting a replacement diploma will take a while – around five to seen weeks or even longer in some cases. 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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