Can you remember the name of your 10th grade homeroom teacher? Who won homecoming when you were a senior? What was the theme of your prom?
If you can’t answer the above questions, it has probably been a while since you were last in high school! Now you’ve landed the job of your dreams, and your employer has you going through onboarding. All they need is your high school diploma and you can start your new career!
And this is where you frantically wonder how to get your diploma if you lost it.
The truth is, misplacing your high school or college diploma is a lot more common than you think. They go unclaimed, get damaged during weather events or moves, or simply vanish into the ether. Luckily for you, your crotchety old parents were right: your lost diploma is just a piece of paper!
We’ve created this guide to help you figure out how to go about replacing a diploma, for nearly any reason. These tips apply to all types of diplomas, including college and university diplomas. Keep reading to learn about how to get a replacement for your damaged diploma into your hands ASAP!
Why Is My Diploma Damaged?
Have you ever gotten bored during school and stared at the side of your glue stick? Did you notice a little bit of writing that said “acid-free?” It turns out that was the part of your education that you should have been paying attention to – at least for your diploma’s sake!
The biggest mistake that graduates make is keeping their diploma stored in the envelope or container that it’s shipped in. As it turns out, those envelopes and tubes contain those acids and oils that the glue stick warned you about. These substances can eat right through delicate paper and frequently leave diplomas looking sad and yellow.
If you’ve kept your diploma in pristine shape, only to open up the envelope and find a moth-eaten, browning piece of archaic papyrus, you are in good company. This is the number one reason why people seek out college diploma replacements in the first place!
To avoid this, you’ll want to properly frame your diploma as soon as you receive it. If you don’t have a time machine, however, it might be too late.
Your Registrar’s Office Can Help
If you want a brand new, school-issued diploma, your best bet is to track down the office of your college’s registrar. You probably remember that office – that was where you went when you had an angry, screaming dispute about your tuition bill, or needed to rip someone’s head off about a bad class schedule. I bet you wish you’d been nicer now!
You probably won’t need to make eye contact to get this job done, however. Your first stop should be the “office of the registrar” page on your school’s website. If you can’t find it, give the school’s main phone number a ring and someone will connect you.
There might be a link right on the registrar’s website to a diploma request service, in which case your job is super easy. Follow the instructions from there and you’ll be on your way. Note that because of FERPA laws, you are the only one who can make the formal diploma request, so don’t send your mom to do it!
You will almost definitely have to pay for your replacement diploma. Fancy schools with fancy diplomas might even require you to shell out some big bucks. Depending on how strict the school is, you might even need a notary to sign off on your paperwork.
Between pouring through records and red tape, it can sometimes take up to six weeks to receive your new diploma. Be patient and you’ll have that piece of paper in your hands again soon!
Are There Any Other Options?
You do have one additional option, depending on why you need the diploma and what you plan to do with it. Many companies offer a replacement diploma service. They will sell you an authentic-looking replica that is perfect for hanging on an office wall.
Often, these services can get a decent-looking diploma into your hands in just a few days. Often, they can sell you a transcript, too. Do note that these replica documents are unofficial and are mostly for your own personal records.
A lot of graduates like to have a replica of their diploma for display so they can keep their real diploma in an archival-quality container. Some people like to have a copy of their transcript so they can reference it without having to send it away for an official copy.
In some cases, a high school or college might close, making it difficult to track down a new copy of a lost diploma. This is a good option for anyone who would like a copy as a memento because the real thing is too hard to find.
This Is How to Get Your Diploma if You Lost It
Are you finally ready to display your diploma in your fancy new office, or do you need to present it to start a new job? Whatever the case, you now know how to get your diploma if you lost it, without skipping a beat!
Looking for more tips and tricks that can help make your life just a little bit easier? You might need a diploma replacement for all of the skills you glean from reading the blog! Stick around and read a few more posts that can help solve problems you didn’t even know you had!