Graduating from high school is a major accomplishment, and graduates should be very proud. After high school, graduates have many options as to what they can do next. Some students may decide to go away to a four-year college to earn their bachelor's degree, while other students may decide to go to community college to earn their associate degree while working part time.
Some students may be eager to enter the workforce directly after graduation or may consider attending a vocational school to get some training. There are no rules as to what students should do once they graduate from high school. However, depending on what you decide, you may need a copy of your high school diploma.
Why Get a Copy of Your High School Diploma
There are many reasons high school graduates would need a copy of their diploma:
- You want to apply to college, though most schools only ask for your high school transcripts.
- You want to apply for a vocational program.
- You want to study abroad in another country.
- You want to enter the workforce, and your prospective job requires proof that you've graduated from high school.
- You lost a copy of your high school diploma, and you'd like a high school diploma replacement.
How to Get a Copy of a High School Diploma
Getting a copy of your high school diploma isn't too difficult, especially if your high school is still around. If it is, then you can simply contact your high school and ask for a copy of your diploma. You can look up the phone number of your former high school online and call the main office.
When you get someone on the phone, simply say_, "I need a copy of my high school diploma. How can I get it?"_ Then, they will give you instructions regarding the next steps. This might be different for every high school. For instance, they may request that you send an email, or they may tell you to come there in person.
If your high school is no longer open or you cannot find contact information, then getting your high school diploma may be a bit more difficult. If this is the case, then you do have some options. Consider contacting your school district's head office, the superintendent's office or your state's Department of Education office, which should have those records on file.
What Documents Do I Need?
The copy of your high school diploma needs to be an official copy. This is the reason you cannot just go to a copy machine to duplicate it. An official copy means that it is sealed by your school to prove that there hasn't been tampering, and whatever institution is requesting this will want an official copy for this very reason. Too many people make fake copies of their diplomas, and this is why you need an official copy from your high school.
To order your high school diploma, you will need to provide some documents. However, these can differ depending on the school:
- A government-issued ID, such as a driver's license
- A completed request form
- A signature
Does It Cost Money to Get a Copy of Your High School Diploma?
Upon graduating from high school, you will earn your high school diploma. You, of course, do not have to pay anything for earning this original copy of your diploma. Most people take their diploma home, frame it and hang it up on the wall as a reminder of their accomplishments. Unfortunately, a copy cannot be used if it's required by your employer or prospective college.
Therefore, if and when you need additional copies, you will likely have to pay a small fee. The fee differs from one high school to the next, but it usually costs anywhere between $10 and $25. Some schools are quite generous and will not charge, at least not on the first request. You may also need to mail the required documents, which can cost additional money for postage.
Sometimes, your high school will mail the copy of your high school diploma directly to the place where you need it to go, and some employers and colleges may prefer it this way. It's important to talk to whomever is requesting a copy of your high school diploma to understand why they want it and how they prefer to receive it.
- If you need a copy of your high school diploma and the school has been closed or is no longer present, the New York State Library recommends contacting the school district office for the geographic area in which your high school was located, as it should have information as to where the school's records were transferred when the school was closed.
- If you want to receive a copy of your diploma quickly after it's been processed, provide a pre-addressed and prepaid FED EX or UPS envelope to the school. You will need an envelope approximately 10x13 or larger to properly contain the diploma.
- It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to receive a copy of your high school diploma once requested.
Hana LaRock is a freelance content writer from New York, currently living in Mexico. She has spent the last 5 years traveling the world and living abroad and has lived in South Korea and Israel. Before becoming a writer, Hana worked as a teacher for several years in the U.S. and around the world. She has her teaching certification in Elementary Education and Special Education, as well as a TESOL certification. Hana spent a semester studying abroad at Tel Aviv University during her undergraduate years at the University of Hartford. She hopes to use her experience to help inform others. Please visit her website, www.hanalarockwriting.com, to learn more.