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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 ( 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.


Be aware that online companies, such as, specialize in producing fake diplomas and school transcripts.

  • Be aware that online companies, such as, specialize in producing fake diplomas and school transcripts.

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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