Graduating from college can be a huge milestone in one’s life. No matter where you attend or what you’ve studied, your diploma is a symbol of all the hard work you’ve put in over years of time.

That’s why it can feel so terrible if you ever find that you’ve lost your college diploma. It’s all too easy for it to happen, of course: it’s just a slip of paper. If you’ve moved homes or even restructured a room it’s easy for such a document to go missing.

Let’s say that sacred piece of paper had gone missing. What can you do? You certainly don’t want to go without it after all the time and money you’ve put into your continued education. Read on, and we’ll walk you through what you need to know.

Reaching Out To Your College

It might feel embarrassing to have to reach out to your former institution of higher learning. After all, losing your diploma might not paint you in the most responsible of lights. But rest assured that lost diplomas are a more than a common occurrence, and your school will probably be happy to help.

Who do you contact? The office of the registrar is probably the place to go. The registrar’s office is in charge of maintaining student records and transcripts for both existing and former students. This means that they’re also the place in charge of fulfilling diploma replacement requests. If anyone at your school can help you, it’s them.

Find the number for the office on your school’s website or call the main number and ask to be transferred by the operator. Even with the Registrar’s Office, you might need to ask to be connected with the person who handles diploma replacement requests.

Make sure to take down the name and direct line of whomever you speak to. This can save you a lot of time and stress when trying to check-in on the status of your request later on.

Legal Requirements Of A Request

When it comes to getting a replacement diploma, it’s a task you’ll have to take on on your own. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act stipulate that student records are protected property. That means your spouse and immediate family are not able to access your student records—only you.

Specific requirements for a diploma replacement will vary by the university at hand. Many will ask for a written request, along with a photocopy of your license or passport for identification purposes.

This process helps to eliminate fraud and identity theft that is quite common. Many colleges will have you print out a PDF form and mail it to their address. Outside of the above materials, their form will likely ask for your birthday, social security number, graduation date, and other basic info.

Some colleges will also request you include a notarized statement swearing that your diploma has been misplaced.

Many universities will charge you a fee to obtain a replacement. This fee covers the cost of printing a new diploma, but it often is a bit higher than you would expect. If you’re working to replace your diploma, you can probably expect to fork over anywhere from $20 to $150.

The price all depends on the school in question and sometimes on the type of diploma you’re looking to replace.

How Long Does The Process Take?

Replacing a diploma is not an overnight process. It can take some time before you have a new copy in your hands.

If you need to schedule out your diploma replacement process, you should plan for anywhere from four to six weeks. Some schools, if they are busy, might take even longer.

If you need your diploma for a specific reason at a specific time, you might be able to make a case with the registrar’s office to speed up the process. But there is no guarantee that this will actually be possible, as these offices get quite busy during the school year.

In most cases, you won’t be in a crunch to get a new copy on your wall in a hurry. But if you are, you might have to look into alternative options.

Purchasing A Replacement Diploma

Sometimes you need your diploma on hand to be able to take the next step in some sort of application process. Whether it be for a job, continued education, or some other position, you might need to show proof of your higher education.

There are many third-party outlets that can help create a temporary diploma. Though these aren’t official documents, they can often stand-in as replacements while waiting the many weeks for a true replacement to come in. You can read more here about ordering replacement diplomas.

Even if you have your current diploma on hand, ordering a few other copies can ensure you never are without paper proof.

When You’ve Lost Your College Diploma

It can be so frustrating. You’ve spent all that time and work at school, and then you find that you’ve misplaced or lost your college diploma. Luckily, this isn’t a mistake that can’t be fixed. With time and knowledge on your side, you can get a new copy of your diploma sent to your home with little hassle.

Need more education advice? Check out our other blog posts for more.

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