Transcripts: Everything You Need to Know
This refers to an administrative record of a student’s scores per subject, both in high school and in institutions of higher learning, e.g., the university. A transcript is one of the most important documents students require to apply for admissions in colleges and universities for higher education. The official transcript is the source to authenticate a student’s academic background, such as their grades, previous qualifications, and the institution from where they have completed previous studies.
It’s important to understand the differences between official and unofficial transcripts. An official transcript comes directly from the registrar of a school, college, or university. Most schools across the globe only accept official transcripts for admission purposes. However, sometimes institutions take several weeks to release the official transcript. In that case, a student can use the unofficial transcripts when filling the application form. Unofficial transcripts become particularly useful if the school to which a student is applying needs to know their GPA or wants a list of recent courses taken by them before it receives the official transcript. An official transcript may also help a student assess whether they meet certain prerequisites for the program in which they want to enroll or the classes they want to take.
Most institutions don’t accept an unofficial transcript due to various reasons, including that it may be incomplete. It’s also possible to fake an unofficial transcript. Therefore, at some point during the process, a student will need to supply the official transcript. The rules for this may vary slightly. Some schools only require the official transcript upon admission, while others want it to be sent when a student applies.
In most cases, a student cannot pick up a copy of their official transcript and take it to their new university. Instead, they will need the old school to send the transcript to the new school directly. The process may take some time, particularly if a student’s transcripts are very old or they are seeking a transcript from a larger school. However, in some instances, it may be possible to expedite the process by paying an additional fee.
Most schools ask the student to provide a specific address to which they can send the transcript. It’s important to contact the new school’s registrar to get this information before completing a transcript request. This is because sending the transcript to the wrong office can incur additional expenses or delay the process.