Are you looking to get a copy of your high school diploma? Read on to learn the different ways you can go about doing this.
Currently, more than 19 million students are in college in the United States. Additionally, 4 million are in graduate school.
You might wonder what that has to do with your high school diploma.
Well, if you want to join their ranks, you’ll need a copy of your high school diploma. Often, you’ll also need a copy of your transcript.
But what if you’ve moved far away and can’t go to your high school in person to request it?
In this article, we’ll discuss why you need your high school diploma and how to get it.
Why Do I Need My High School Diploma?
For most higher education courses, you’ll need to show proof that you finished high school. This is true for any program for a 4-year Bachelor degree. This is also the case for many vocational schools.
In some cases, you can substitute your GED or General Education Diploma. But you’ll still need to show proof of your graduation.
You may also need your high school diploma to apply for certain jobs. While this is becoming more and rarer, you might find yourself having to do so.
So how do you get your diploma anyway?
Getting Your High School Diploma
If you know how to get in touch with your school, call or email the head office. Let them know you want your diploma.
They will often ask if you want an official or unofficial copy. We’ll go over that later on in the article.
After you’ve decided which type of copy you want, your school with then mail your diploma. They can also mail the diploma straight to your college or employer. In some cases, you may need an ID or your social security number.
Most high schools don’t charge a fee for students obtaining their records. But if your school does, expect it to be minimal. They should not charge over $50. In some cases, the fee is must lower, around $5 or $10.
What If My School Doesn’t Exist Anymore?
If your school doesn’t exist anymore, this can make the process a bit trickier. You should contact the district your school was in and ask where they keep records. They will most likely know where to point you.
In some cases, you may receive your diploma from your state’s Department of Education. Other times, the school district will have a copy they can give you.
You may want to ask other former graduates how they obtained their diplomas from your school. This will make your hunting for the information easier.
If you went to a private school that no longer exists, there are still some options.
Most private schools operate as part of a district, much like public schools. Catholic schools in one area work with other schools in what people know as a diocese. There will be a fair amount of schools within the diocese that it oversees. You can begin by contacting them and seeing if they have any leads for you.
You can contact the National Center for Education Statistics, as well. This option is for those who did not attend a school that was part of a diocese or other body that oversaw schools. They will likely have your transcript for these rare cases. If they do not, they may be able to tell you where to find it.
What About Transcripts?
Getting your transcript is very much like the process for getting your diploma.
Your transcript differs from your diploma in that is shows the courses you took. It will also show what grade you earned in each course.
This is important for prospective schools. With your transcript, they can be sure you meet their entry requirements. They can also be sure your grades are competent.
A diploma says you graduated. A transcript shows what classes you took to make that possible.
Employers will rarely ask for a high school transcript. Colleges, though, will want to see it. This is also the case if you transfer colleges.
Like with your diploma, you should contact your former school. If your former school no longer exists, you can contact the school district. If your school was private, as mentioned before, you can contact your diocese. You can also contact the National Center for Education Statistics.
You can receive your transcript in the mail. You can also opt to have it sent to your future employer or school.
What If I’m Still in School?
You may need your transcript if you’re still enrolled in that school. You could need it for a job, to transfer schools or for your college applications. Your registrar deals with these requests on a daily basis.
In most cases, you can drop by your school’s administration offices and let them know. They can prepare it for you, or send it to your job, prospective college or another school. You can also request to have the diploma sent to you.
What is the Difference Between and Official and Unofficial Diploma or Transcript?
In some cases, colleges and employers may ask for an official high school diploma or transcript.
An unofficial diploma or transcript is not sealed. You can often get these printed off in your registrar’s office on the same day. In some cases, you can print them yourself on your own printer.
An official transcript or diploma remains sealed. It may also have the signature of someone from the school over the seal. Or, it may bear a stamped seal over the envelope to keep it from opening. This certifies that your transcript and diploma are authentic. It also guarantees you have not tampered with your transcript.
When Should I Request My Diploma or Transcript?
You’ll need to request your high school weeks in advance of when you’ll need it. This gives your school enough time to mail it to you or its final destination. Always err on the side of caution when it comes to time. Give yourself more than you think you’ll need.
If you are in a hurry, some schools will offer “RUSH” service for a fee.
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