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Woman Completes College Courses, Hasn't Received Diploma

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MCALLEN – A Rio Grande Valley woman did everything she needed to graduate college but has nothing to show for it.

Maribel Lopez says it has been almost a year since she completed her studies and still hasn’t received her diploma.

As a first-generation college graduate, Lopez says it means more than a completion of a study. It is an accomplishment for the whole family.

Lopez graduated high school in 2011. She says that is when she started saving up to study the field she knew she was meant for.

The 25-year-old spent $5,000 to be able to say, “I studied architectural drafting at the technology campus."

In Aug. 2017, she became an architectural drafter from South Texas College, without the paper to back it up.

“I knew I wasn't going to attend the graduation ceremony in December, so, I asked if I could have my diploma early...and, they said, 'Yes.’ I waited. September - nothing. I waited October - nothing. So, I started calling, and I would pretty much just get, 'Give me your name and number, and we'll get back to you on that,’” says Lopez.

She says they did not get back to her – her next plan was to send emails.

She was told her diploma had been mailed in September.

Lopez's mailbox remained empty.

“I was worried, maybe this time, it did get lost in the mail," says Lopez.

Her next step was to pick up a copy and even that turned out to be a problem because of an “out of order printer.”

“They told me the part has finally come in. It will be here Monday and we'll start processing your request. It's May now and I still haven't gotten anything. So, it's become frustrating. My parents, it means a lot to them, for being a first-generation college student, to have that in the family, it's really important," she says.

STC spokesperson Dimitra Hernandez tells CHANNEL 5 NEWS Lopez's diploma was mailed.

They offered her the option of picking it up from their office.

Lopez says, as soon as she picks up her diploma, her parents will finally get to frame and hang it.

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