What to Do If You Lost 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. Regardless, there are options available in terms of getting a replacement.
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. But do keep in mind there is no other person who will be able to do that but you.
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 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.
Prepare to pay 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.
Since most schools are FERPA-compliant, you will need to mail your diploma replacement request for it to be processed. Again, there are zero other options, and the purpose is to eliminate 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
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.
Obviously, a temporary or substitute diploma is not an official document, but it will serve the purpose of your real diploma while you wait for it to arrive. 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.