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How to Obtain a Copy of Your High School Diploma
It’s easy to lose or damage your high school diploma. If this has happened to you, you should be able to replace it easily enough. Sometimes you can get a new copy directly from your school, and other times you might have to contact a school district office or your state’s Department of Education. Once you’ve found the right agency, you’ll usually need to fill out a form and pay a fee. Then you’ll typically have your new diploma in 2-3 weeks!
Contacting Your High School
Look for an online record request system on your school’s website.Search the name of your school online, being as specific as possible. Some high school names are not unique, so adding information about the location of your school can help you find the right website. The website may have a page for information about requesting student records.
Call or email the school if their website doesn’t have information about getting records.Your school’s website may not have a page for requesting records, but it will have details about contacting them. If your school has a registrar, contact them directly.If not, get in touch with an administrative assistant and ask them to point you in the right direction.
Request a copy directly from the school or ask where you can get one.Some schools issue copies of diplomas themselves, but others do not. In those cases, you will be directed to a different agency, most likely a school district office or a state’s Department of Education. If you can request a copy from the school, they will explain the process to you.
Fill out request forms if applicable.You may have to fill out an official request form, either in paper or online. Commonly, these ask for just some basic information, such as your name, address, date of graduation, and signature. If you now live in a different city or state, you can either print the forms from the Internet or request to have them mailed to you.
Pay the processing fee, if required.Expect to pay a small fee to get your copy, usually somewhere between 5 and 15 dollars. If you’re mailing in the official request, expect to need either a money order or certified check, rather than a basic personal check.Online systems usually accept credit or debit cards.
Wait several weeks to receive your copy in the mail.Diploma copies are almost always sent by mail. Do not expect to receive an electronic copy unless you’re told otherwise. Plan to wait between 2 and 3 weeks on average for your request to be processed and delivered. Your school should be able to tell you the average processing time.
Going Directly to a School District or State Office
Find how to request a copy on your school district’s website.If your school has closed down since you graduated or they could not help you, get in touch with the office of the school district. Their website should be easy to find through an Internet search.
Find your state’s Department of Education website if you can’t reach the district.Even if you can reach your school district, there’s a chance they’ll refer you to the Department of Education, if they handle diplomas in your state. If you’d like, you can try contacting your Department of Education before contacting your school district. The agency that handles these requests varies from place to place.Departments of education usually have websites that are easy both to find and to navigate.
Find the records request page if there is one.You might find this page under an unexpected heading in the site directory. On the page for the New York Department of Education, for instance, the information about requesting diplomas is under a section titled “High School equivalency.”
- If you can’t find the information you need by navigating the website, try a Google search for something like “Tennessee Department of Education copy of diploma.”
Call or email the Department of Education if you have questions.The school district or Department of Education website should have contact information if you need additional help. Most likely, the listed number will call an administrative assistant, who can redirect you to the person you need to speak with.
Fill out any required forms.Once you have learned about the specific process for your school district or state, simply follow the guidelines. As with requesting a copy from your high school, there will usually be both a form you need to fill out. In most cases, it will ask you for basic information, like your name, mailing address, year of graduation, and your signature.
Pay the processing fee.Most of the time, the Department of Education or the school district will charge you a processing fee. Typically, it is somewhere between 5 and 15 dollars. Be prepared to provide a money order or certified check if you’re mailing the forms in. You often cannot use a personal check. If you’re paying online, you should be able to use a credit card.
Wait 2-3 weeks to receive a copy of your diploma.Almost always, this will be mailed to you. Only expect an electronic copy if you are specifically promised one. It will take the Department of Education or the school district about 2-3 weeks on average to process your request and send your copy.
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