How to Get an Unofficial Diploma Replacement

If you need a copy of your diploma, you may want to consider an unofficial diploma replacement under certain circumstances. Learn more here.

According to a US News report, most Americans graduate from high school. The study examined 17,857 ranked schools that reported a graduation rate range of 74%-94%.

Based on these figures, you probably graduated high school. The question is, do you have a diploma to show for it? 

Maybe you’ve moved and can’t find your official diploma. Or, perhaps your parents kept the certificate and you now live far away. 

Whatever the case, you may wonder how to get a diploma replacement. Fortunately, there are several ways to do this! Check out our guide to learn how to get your diploma copy as soon as possible.

Contact Your High School Administration

Contacting your high school is usually the best place to start when replacing your diploma. The school will either mail you a copy itself or point you to the right person who can do this. 

First, check your high school’s website. They may have a request forms page that allows you to request a diploma copy. Otherwise, look for the contact information you can use to call or email the school. 

Then, use this information to contact the school and ask about replacing a diploma. Some schools can do this themselves, while others will refer you to a third party. 

Most sources require some basic information for this document. Usually, this includes:

  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Your graduation date (or year)

Once you sign the form, you’ll probably have to pay a processing fee. Usually, this costs less than $20. 

Contact Your School District

The above instructions are often the fastest way to replace a diploma. However, this action isn’t available to everyone. 

Sometimes, schools close down for various reasons. If your high school shuts down, you’ll have to contact the school district to receive a copy of your diploma. 

School districts retain records for all students that attended school in their zone. These records also include students who attended schools that no longer operate. 

This process works very similarly to the previous one. First, contact the school district by phone or email. Then, inform them that you need a copy of your high school diploma. 

You’ll have to fill out a form that requires the same information as the previous one. Once you submit the form and pay the processing fee, you should receive your diploma copy in the mail within a reasonable time. 

How to Replace a Diploma Without Going Through the School

Going through the institution you graduated from is usually the best way to get a diploma copy. However, you may find that this process takes too much time. Maybe you need a cheap diploma copy faster than your school can manage. 

In these cases, consider using a diploma replacement company to design a copy in these situations. These companies can create convincing diplomas using your input and information. 

Usually, these diplomas will convince employers of your graduation. If there’s any trouble, you could provide a copy of your transcript to verify your graduation. 

We’ll discuss how to replace a diploma with these companies for the rest of the article. First, let’s start with the design template. 

Choose Your Design Template

First, consider your document’s design. After all, not all diplomas and degrees are identical. Many use differing templates from their fellow schools. 

You’d probably like to create a diploma copy that resembles your original diploma. So, look for options that closely mirror your old school’s format. 

You can also borrow a friend or former classmate’s diploma and copy the template to recreate the original diploma’s format. Then, you can edit the original information to include your data instead.

Of course, you can always choose to vary your diploma design template from what your high school used. Maybe there’s a design that you think looks better! All that matters is that the document look official.

Once you have your template, you can move on to editing the content. We’ll discuss this in the next section.

What Goes on a Diploma?

The hardest part of creating a cheap diploma copy is editing the information. This process can vary depending on whether you make the document or use a diploma company. 

Before you can edit the information, though, you must remember what to include in your diploma. So, what information goes on a high school diploma?

This information can vary a little bit between states and school districts. However, most diplomas include:

  • Your name
  • The name of your school
  • Your graduation date
  • The signature of your principal
  • School seal
  • Wording that describes the document’s purpose

Including each of these factors can be a challenge. Photo editing software like Photoshop can rarely capture all the relevant information without pixel alignment problems. 

If you design these documents alone, start by building them from scratch. You can use vector-based software to do this. 

Choose the Right Diploma Paper

Finally, remember that certificates always use specialty papers. Nobody will believe your diploma is legitimate if you print it on standard printer paper. 

Instead, look for the best grade certificate paper in your local arts and craft store. Otherwise, you can look for the best option online. 

Try to match your certificate’s color and size to the original diploma certificate. Sometimes, this may be easier said than done.

For example, it’s nearly impossible to recreate a school watermark. Fortunately, not every school includes these on a diploma. 

Find the Diploma Replacement You Need

As you can see, there are several ways to get a diploma replacement. You can reach out to your former school for a copy of this certificate.

In other cases, you can recreate these documents through other means. We recommend using a diploma company for your copy needs. This option is often more reliable than creating a diploma by yourself.

To that end, check out our diploma samples today! We offer several kinds of diploma formats. Review our samples to see if we can provide the services you need.