Did you know that in the United States, more than 300 occupations require a high school diploma or GED? By contrast, only a little over 100 jobs are open to non-high school graduates. So, even if you can get a job without finishing high school, you’d still have more options if you graduate.
The same thing applies to most other countries: having a diploma can land you a better-paying job.
That’s why you should treasure and take good care of your diploma once you get it. After all, you can’t present a damaged, much less a lost diploma, to potential employers.
If you do lose or damage your diploma, though, then don’t worry, as there are ways to get a copy of it. Below we’ll discuss the steps you need to take, so be sure to read on.
Check Your Alma Mater’s Website
The worldwide lockdowns in 2020 impacted about 90% of enrolled learners. Up to now, numerous educational institutions haven’t physically reopened yet. As a result, many schools started to offer distance or online learning and services.
So, the first thing to do if you lose or damage your diploma is to check if your school offers online replacement. You should find this info on the website or page of your school’s registrar’s office. If not, then you should call the office itself.
The registrar is the department that manages student records, including those of graduates. That’s why it should be your first point of contact when you need a diploma replacement.
In any case, prepare to provide your personal info, such as your complete name and date of graduation. Be sure to give your maiden name if you have married after graduating. The registrar’s office may also find it easier to look for your records if you can give them your student ID number.
Your school is also likely to ask why you’re requesting a diploma replacement. In addition, they may require you to provide a valid affidavit of loss.
The fees vary from school to school but expect to pay about $100 for a replacement paper diploma. However, if your potential employer is fine with a soft copy, check if your school can issue you a PDF copy. PDF replacements usually cost half of the paper replacement.
Get in Touch With Your School District
Even before the pandemic, the US has had thousands of permanent school closures. For example, during the 2017 to 2018 school year, 1,310 public schools have closed. These include elementary, high school, vocational, and alternative schools.
If your school is one of those, your next point of contact should be the district your school belonged to. For example, let’s say you graduated high school in San Francisco, CA. If it has since closed, then you need to call the San Francisco Unified School District.
School districts are independent departments that govern public schools within a specific area. As such, they often have access to records of schools, students, and graduates. So, give them a call and ask them for assistance in replacing a diploma that you’ve lost or damaged.
Ask Your State’s Department of Education for Help
If your district can’t help, you may have to go straight to your state’s Department of Education. Most of these departments have websites, so be sure to check if they issue diploma copies.
An example of one that does is the New York State Education Department. For only $10, the NYSED can issue you a copy of your High School Equivalency diploma with a transcript. You can download the forms online, but you need to mail them together with the payment.
Another example is the Florida Department of Education. For $15, you can request a duplicate of your lost or damaged High School Equivalency or GED diploma. The FLDOE also offers online duplication services for transcripts for the same price.
Consider Working With an Online Diploma Maker
A diploma replacement request filed with a school can take four to six weeks to process. Some may even need three to four months to replace a college diploma! It could take even longer if you need to factor in courier or shipping times.
Unfortunately, potential employers wouldn’t wait for that long. It’s not a good idea to tell them you lost or damaged your diploma, either. Doing so may make them form unpleasant opinions on how you take care of your valuables.
So, if you need an immediate diploma replacement, you might want to get one from an online diploma maker. These businesses create genuine-looking diplomas in just one to two business days. If you need a soft copy, you can get one the same day you pay for the service.
What’s more, you can get the maker to procure an exact match of your diploma, provided you have a photo of the original. If you don’t have a picture of your diploma, ask a friend or a classmate you graduated with for a copy of theirs. The diploma maker would then make a custom copy with your name on it.
If you decide to go with this option, be sure to compare the maker’s online samples with those of your school. The diploma maker should also use real-pressed emblems or metallic gold foil seals. For a closer look at authentic-looking diplomas, you can view more here.
Just keep in mind that a diploma duplicate obtained this way should only be for temporary use. You should still ask your school to issue you a certified copy of your diploma.
Replace Your Damaged or Lost Diploma Now
As you can see, you have at least four options when it comes to replacing a damaged or lost diploma. However, your school’s registrar’s office should always be the first place to call. If it no longer exists, though, that’s the only time you can consider the alternatives.
Then, as soon as you’ve obtained a certified copy of your diploma, get it framed or store it somewhere safe.
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