Attended school from Fall ‘14 - Dec ‘18. Forgot to apply to graduate because I am dumb. Kept putting it off and had terrible anxiety about not having completed coursework and being unable to graduate. Finally grew up and emailed university. After a couple of emails everything was handled and I received degree/diploma May ‘21. Terrible mistake, I know.

Just received job offer, contingent upon background check. Resume had Dec ‘18 under education as that was when I completed coursework and began working. Didn’t explicitly state graduated, but fishy. Is this something bg check will flag? Is this something I could explain to recruiter before accepting without sounding like a scummer?

I got the interview through a family friend. If it’s going to be an issue, I’d rather decline the offer than embarrass the friend.

Any tips how to represent this on resume in future? Thinking it may be best to put Aug ‘14 - Dec ‘18, instead of Dec ‘18. That would be more accurate?

Thank you.

  • 4
    To clarify: you finished all your actual coursework in 2018, but didn't formally graduate until 2021 because of admin stuff? If so, nobody cares. Commented Mar 2, 2022 at 8:03
  • @PhilipKendall Yessir, that is correct. I’m worried that is something the background check may flag. Do you think that’s something I should mention to the recruiter beforehand? Or explain it if it becomes an issue after the check is run?
    – Pimpanzee
    Commented Mar 2, 2022 at 8:16
  • If you have an offer for a job in 2022, and that your diploma displays 2021 instead of 2018, it should not be a problem.
    – R0m1
    Commented Mar 2, 2022 at 8:29
  • What's the date on the degree? What exactly did you do between 2018 and 2021?
    – Hilmar
    Commented Mar 2, 2022 at 10:03
  • @Hilmar I don’t believe there is an actual date on my degree. It’s at my parents but I looked it over when I received it and don’t recall it having one. I did my own education verification yesterday through national student clearing house and the date awarded is May ‘21.
    – Pimpanzee
    Commented Mar 2, 2022 at 13:39

1 Answer 1


I second Philip Kendall in the comments. Nobody cares. You have been working from 2018 to 2021, so there is no gap. And when you got the paperwork for your degree is totally irrelevant. Important is that you have it now.

If you send in your diploma and they question you why it has a date of 2021, you may need to explain the situation. But don't beat yourself up like you did in the question. A short and general explanation will suffice:

I completed my coursework in '18 and started working. I just forgot to apply for graduation, and because I already worked, getting the diploma was not that important to me. That's the reason for the delay.

  • 1
    Good answer but if it comes to being asked about the discrepancy, another option is to answer even more simply: I completed the coursework in December 2018. Due to paperwork delays, the diploma was granted in the 2021.
    – Damila
    Commented Mar 3, 2022 at 20:03

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