Does It Cost Money to Get a High School Diploma Copy?

Approximately 2.7 million people earned their high school diploma in 2022. A high school diploma means the most basic of academic achievements and is the key to unlocking career opportunities in the United States. 

But what do you do if you cannot find your high school diploma? If you graduated 20 years ago, there's a good chance that you have misplaced this important document. 

You can still acquire a copy of your high school diploma or a transcript of your work from high school, regardless of when you graduated. This critical slip of paper still exists in one fashion or another, depending on how you acquire it. 

By the time you finish reading this article, you will understand how you can acquire your high school diploma copy or high school transcript. 

Begin at the Beginning

To acquire your high school diploma copy, begin where you ended your high school career. Your old high school will be able to issue you a replacement diploma for a diploma cost fee. So start by contacting your old high school administration. 


If you don't live near your old high school, then begin with a search for your old high school's website. You may find a page with request forms. In this case, you can then fill out a form to request a diploma copy. 

Some schools will not have a current or organized website. If you cannot find a forms page, go to the contact information at the bottom of the school's page. 

Email or Call Administration

Once you've found the contact information, send a formal email requesting a form to order a new copy of your diploma. You can also call the school administration office directly to make the request. 

Unfortunately, not all schools issue replacement diplomas. If your old school is among these, then they will send you to an organization or individual who can help you find a replacement diploma. 

Request the Diploma Copy


Next, you need to fill out request forms. Mail these in or scan them and send them electronically as an email attachment. The forms should ask for basic information such as your name, when you graduated, and your home address. 

Sign the bottom of this form so you prove you're the one making the request, and then pay your processing fee. 

You will most likely have a fee to cover the cost of those who are producing the diploma. This should not be an exorbitant fee. Typically a school will charge less than 20 dollars. 

Ask the administration how long you should expect to wait for the diploma to arrive. Then wait the prescribed amount of days for your coveted document to come in the mail. 

Contact the District

Schools don't last forever. If your school has shut down, then go to the school district office rather than the school. The district office administration should have records for all students who attended and graduated from all of the schools in their district. 

Contact the district much like you would your old school directly. Go to their website and search for the page that has a request form. If there is no such page, then use the stated contact information, and call or email the office. 

Your school administration office should have a record of your graduation. In this case, you can request a copy of your diploma, fill out the proper paperwork, pay your fees, and receive your diploma. 

If you want an official diploma, you will have to wait a few days or even weeks. A diploma isn't just a piece of paper printed off the office printer and then mailed out. 

An official-looking diploma will be on special paper and have a special script and ink on it. Plus, it will require the signature of the school administration and often a school board president. 

Be aware that many school administration offices will not accept a personal check for the processing fee. So have your debit or credit card handy when you order your diploma copy.  

Closed Districts

Sometimes more than just your school has closed. If your entire district does not exist anymore, you will have to move up a level higher and contact the state's department of education

The state DOE will have a record of all schools in the state, even those that no longer exist. Go to your state's department of education website, and contact them directly. They will send you to the person in charge of issuing diploma copies. 

Have your information ready. 

  • Your name
  • Town where your high school was located
  • Name of your high school
  • Year of your graduation

The department of education official can then either issue you a diploma copy or send you to a party that can. 

Private School

Private schools are not under the authority of the federal or state government. Yet the state will still have information about graduates of private schools. 

Thus, if you graduated from a private school that no longer exists, you can go to your state's department of education and follow the same steps as listed above. 

You also have the option of contacting the National Center for Education Statistics. They will have a page of private school listings and can help you find someone that will help you. 


Some schools simply cannot or will not replace your diploma. They can and will, however, issue you a transcript. Such a document will show every class you took and the grades you received for each class. 

The transcript will also indicate if you completed the work necessary to graduate and receive a diploma. 

If your employer or other individual asks to see your diploma, a transcript should suffice. Make sure you receive the transcript on official letterhead from your graduating school. 

Get Your High School Diploma Copy Today

A high school diploma copy is the key to unlocking doors. With it, you can start just about any basic job and work your way up in the world. Without it, your employer simply has your word that you graduated from school. 

Do you need a copy of your diploma? If so, we can help. Contact us today, and we will help you get your high school diploma copy. 

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