Diploma Mix-Up Causes Confusion for Recent Graduates

Recent Hunter College graduates have received incorrect diplomas with other people’s names on them. Toward the end of January, graduates started posting about the issue on Facebook in the hopes of finding the rightful owners of the mixed-up diplomas and answers for how this could have happened.

Ray, a recent graduate who asked to be referred to only by his first name for privacy purposes, was the first to post about the diploma mix-up. After he graduated in January 2020, it took a year for his diploma to finally arrive, but when he did receive it, it was for another graduate: Jonathan Clemente.

“It seemed ridiculous to me because I messaged and called Hunter several times” over the last few months, he said. “And they didn’t really offer any advice or time span for when I’d get it. And then they just randomly sent me the wrong diploma.”

He posted on Facebook to see if anyone knew Clemente, and was quickly connected to him through mutual friends.

“I found the person who’s diploma I got by mistake and someone who had my diploma contacted me,” Ray said over Facebook Messenger. “We all worked out ways of mailing them to each other. To be honest, I think Hunter wouldn’t have done anything helpful, so I didn’t bother contacting them.”

Clemente said he was surprised to finally receive his diploma after waiting about a year, but when he saw that it had someone else’s name on it, he didn’t know what to do.

A spokesperson from Hunter said that all students affected by this issue have since been contacted. 

“A corrupted electronic file briefly affected the printing of diplomas late in January,” reads the statement. “All 158 graduates who received the wrong document were contacted and have already been sent replacement diplomas.”

After the school notified him that the issue would be corrected, Clemente got his digital diploma on Jan. 27. He received another email on Feb. 3 saying his physical diploma would be sent soon.

“I honestly don’t blame Hunter though. They have a lot of students and that can be hard when outsourcing diploma printing to companies like Parchment,” he said. “I wish they had better security with my personal information though.”

Photo illustration shows a graduate on the 68th Street-Hunter College subway platform holding a diploma that says "Someone Else."
Photo illustration by Marissa Cronin. Photos from Wikimedia Commons

After Ray made his post, six other students followed suit, trying to find the owners of the incorrect diplomas they had received. One of those students, January 2020 graduate Anmei Ni, still hasn’t been able to get in touch with the person whose diploma she got.

“I personally wasn’t too bothered by it, but that’s mostly because I’ve been finished with school for a whole year and my transcript lists that I have graduated,” Ni said about receiving the wrong diploma. “However, my mother was definitely bothered by it, and she kept nudging me to try to get my correct diploma.”

After her mother contacted the school, she was directed to an answering machine that told her to email a request to the registrar. Soon after, Ni also digitally received the correct diploma on Jan. 27.

“I guess Hunter College’s systems corrected themselves,” she said. “And while I wasn’t too bothered by receiving the wrong diploma, I was quite happy to receive the correct one.”

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