What to Do If You Lose Your College Diploma

Posted May 4, 2020 by in Lifestyle

You spent two or more years of your life in college or university, and you finally graduate. It’s officially over! You walk across the stage, get your college diploma and you’re off to your new life.

However, once you received that piece of paper, chances are you may or may not have taken good care of it. Life gets in the way, you move from one place to another, and it’s possible to lose track of that special piece of paper that you worked so hard for.

When that happens—don’t panic! There are ways that you can get a duplicate diploma if the original gets lost or damaged. To learn about what to do next, just keep reading:

lost college diploma

Requesting Your College Diploma: Understand the Procedures

Before you embark on your journey of getting a replacement, it’s best to know the policies and procedures set by your alma mater. Each school is different, so you cant just ask a friend what they did to get theirs.

However, you can Google the name of your school and type in “duplicate diploma”. The school’s official website should be able to provide instructions on how to move forward and get your replacement.

Call the Registrar’s Office

Chances are the information you find on the school website is vague, so you’ll need to call the registrar’s office of the university or college that you attended. They are responsible for handling transcripts and other student records, and their primary function is to fulfill requests for those who need a copy of their college diploma.

You should also be able to get the office’s contact number from the school website as well.

Replacement Diploma: Only You Can Request It

According to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, student records must be secure and kept private. Spouses and other family members are not allowed to access any student information or academic records. The student is the only person who can get their college diploma.

However, if you are requesting the graduation papers for a deceased person, further documents and evidence are required. You must be next of kin or an executor of the student’s estate. The process varies per school, but generally, you’ll have to show proof of your relationship with the deceased, such as a birth certificate or marriage certificate.

Plus, other identification like a passport or driver’s license is needed. The college or university may also ask for the death certificate and a notarized copy of the Power of Attorney or the Letter of Appointment.

Be Prepared to Pay a Fee

Your initial diploma that you received was the only one that you’ll be able to get for free. When you request a copy of your diploma, you must pay a fee.

The cost of the replacement varies but you can expect to pay anywhere between $25 to $150. When you call the registrar’s office, be sure to ask them how the fee should be paid.

A Written Request

Depending on your college or university, you may be able to go in person and request a duplicate diploma. However, the majority of schools are FERPA compliant, so a written request is mandatory for getting a replacement—the procedures are put in place to safeguard against fraud and identity theft.

Your school website might also have a printable PDF that you can use to fill out the request.

Give It Some Time

After you put in your request for a new college diploma, give it some time. It might take a few weeks for it to be processed and then additional days for it to be mailed to you. If you need your college diploma quickly, ask the registrar’s office about other options for getting it faster, and if you could do overnight mail.

Preserve Your Diploma

Listen, you’ve earned your diploma fair and square. So instead of tossing it in a drawer, you should put it in a safe place. The best way to ensure that your graduation paper stays protected is to frame it.

Not only is it a nice display of your accomplishments, but it helps to protect it from moisture and UV rays that could damage it. In addition to framing your document, you can also put it in a diploma folder. The plastic helps to protect it from heat and dust and keeps the diploma in pristine condition.

Not only that, but diploma folders come in various shapes and sizes and the outer interior is usually made with quality vinyl or leather. They are also padded to shield against heavy pressure and dropping it on the floor.

On the other hand, if you’d like to find other ways to safeguard your real diploma but you want an alternative to use for framing, that’s an option too. Go to Google and type in “do fake high school diplomas work” you’ll discover other fun alternatives.

Congratulations! You’ve Earned Your Duplicate

As you can see, getting a replacement for your college diploma is fairly easy. It’s good to know that your school continues to be of service, even after you graduate. It would be tragic if you could only have one diploma, and that’s it. Thankfully, that’s not the case. 

Hopefully, these tips helped you get the basic information needed to replace your graduation papers—good luck and continued success in your future endeavors.

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