Every student that has ever attended school has an academic transcript. It’s important to know what can be found on this document before you enter the workforce, so here is a rundown of what you will find on it, why you may need to have access to your academic transcript, and where to get it if you don’t have a copy on hand!
Information on an academic transcript from high school:
– Name of high school attended
– Graduation date and year earned (i.e., 2017)
– Academic program completed, such as Honors or Advanced Placement courses taken and passed (AP scores should be included on the transcript if they were earned during high school; AP test results can also come from College Board directly), other coursework offered by the high school that may have been unique to your experience there, like music lessons or woodshop classes, etc.
Information on an academic transcript from college:
– Name of college/university attended
– Graduation date and year earned (i.e., 2017)
– Academic programs completed, such as Bachelor’s degree in English or Master’s degree in Accounting; if you’ve changed your major since starting college, that information should also be included here. If you haven’t declared a major yet, state Undecided .
Information on an academic transcript from graduate school:
– Name of university attended for the master’s program / name of postsecondary institution attended for PhD programs (if they are different)
– Graduation date and year earned (i.e., 2020)
– Academic program completed like MBA or Doctorate Degree with area(s) of study
When you will need access to your academic transcripts:
While most employers do not ask for academic transcripts until after an interview has occurred, some companies require them before inviting candidates in for interviews! Other times it is appropriate – but not required – to include a copy of your high school or college transcript with your resume when you are applying for a certain position (particularly when the job is specialized and your academic performance may give you an edge when compared to other applicants).
Schools may also request a copy of your academic transcript for reference when you are in the student or alumni directory, or if they need to verify course credits.
Academic transcripts are also used in scholarship applications to submit evidence of academic work completed while attending specific schools. Academic transcripts vary from institution to institution so it can be helpful for students researching universities they wish to attend to find out how each organization issues official copies before making an application decision. In most cases, unofficial copies will suffice until students have been accepted, but oftentimes official transcripts are necessary and it is important to know the differences between official and unofficial versions of academic transcripts.
The difference between an official and unofficial transcript
Unofficial transcripts can be printed from your institution’s website. Generally, unofficial transcripts can be used by students and recent graduates to show proof of academic work completed, especially when applying for internships or jobs as a student. These unofficial transcripts often do not include an official seal, signature, date of issuance/registration, etc… Unofficial copies may also contain errors that the school’s registrar will not clear up later (such as listed grades earned).
Official Transcripts are a bit different. According to the National Student Clearinghouse organization, “an official academic transcript is defined as one bearing the Registrar’s signature and embossed college seal.” Other than the verification from the high school or university that all information contained in the transcript is correct, there is little difference between an official and unofficial transcript.
Where to get a copy of your transcript
There is no universal standard for transcripts. Each high school or university may have its own requirements and prices, so it’s best to check with the place where you got your degree. For example, students who attended a California college can get an official transcript from one of two sources: online via Cal State Apply (there is no charge) or by mail ($20 fee). Unofficial copies are free in both cases; however, if there is something wrong on the unofficial copy that needs correction later on (such as listed grades earned), sending in an updated version will cost $15 per request plus any postage required . To order multiple transcripts at once over the phone , some schools allow using electronic billing instead of payment up front. This is just one example, however, and each high school and college has a different procedure, timeframe and price for getting a transcript.
There are other options, however, especially if you are in a hurry to obtain a copy of your transcript. Companies like ValidGrad can replicate the personal details and grades contained on your academic transcript very quickly. They have the ability to create transcripts from any institution in any state in the US, so the information contained on the transcript will completely reflect the details of your actual academic career.
Knowing about your academic transcripts, and having access to them quickly, may mean the difference between getting into an excellent academic program or landing the perfect job for you, or not. Make sure you have access to everything you need to move forward in your life, including evidence of your education.