Melissa Howard, a Republican candidate for the Florida House, appears to have faked a college diploma in an attempt to cover up the fact that she never graduated.

The story arose after FLA News, a right-leaning news site, initially reported that “despite stating on her campaign website and other candidate biographies that she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1994 from Miami University (Ohio), the university through a non-profit clearinghouse that verifies academic records says no degree was ever awarded.”

FLA News initially retracted its story after Howard send them a photo (the one depicted at the top of this page), where she sits next to what appears to be a diploma from Miami University. But the diploma appears to be a forgery, and not an especially well-produced one at that.

Among other things, the diploma claims that she graduated in 1996, even though the university says she was not enrolled that year. It states that she was awarded a “Bachelor of Science in Marketing,” even though the university does not offer such a degree. According to the university’s general counsel, marketing majors typically receive a bachelor’s degree in business.


Also, students with Howard’s major would have received a “bachelor’s in family and consumer sciences,” not a degree in either business or marketing. And the purported diploma was signed by the dean of the graduate school, even though Howard claims to have received an undergraduate degree.

The diploma, in other words, appears to be able as valuable as a degree from Trump University.

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