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How to Find Out If a Person Has Graduated From College

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In 2006, Forbes magazine reported that an estimated 40 percent of people stretched the truth on their resumes. One of the more prevalent fibs, the magazine reported, is a false college degree claim. If for any reason you need confirmation that someone has a college degree – whether you’re interviewing a prospective employee, someone to work in your department or an applicant to provide care for your child – a diploma, school transcripts or a letter from the school is adequate proof of graduation.

Request documentation by asking to see a copy of the individual's college diploma. Although this is not a full-proof method (it’s possible to create and buy fake diplomas and transcripts that are virtually identical to the genuine thing), when asked to provide authentic records, the average person telling a white lie will likely withdraw his application rather than falsify documents.

Request a copy of college transcripts. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects the privacy of students and their educational records. The person can request transcripts and give you a copy.

Request transcripts directly from the school. Only certain people and organizations are eligible to receive student transcripts. A school official with a legitimate reason, schools accepting a transfer from the student and certain auditors can request transcripts directly from the college. Visit the FERPA website (www.ed.gov) to learn more about the rights of students and who can request transcripts directly from colleges.

Ask the person to provide a letter from his college advisor confirming graduation.

Warning

Be aware that online companies, such as www.nd-center.com, specialize in producing fake diplomas and school transcripts.

About the Author

Shannon Marks started her journalism career in 1994. She was a reporter at the "Beachcomber" in Rehoboth Beach, Del., and contributed to "Philadelphia Weekly." Marks also served as a research editor, reporter and contributing writer at lifestyle, travel and entertainment magazines in New York City. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature from Temple University.

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