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What to Include on a High School Homeschool Transcript (includes template!)

If you’re applying to college as a homeschooler, you’re going to need a transcript to send to schools. There are a few different ways to go about this. Some choose to pay for a transcript service or get a transcript from an umbrella school, but you can also create a transcript on your own. Don’t worry — it’s a lot more straightforward than it sounds. In this article, we’ll help you out with a high school transcript template, as well as other advice for applying to college.

High school transcript templates like this free one from pdfFiller make the process quick and easy. Simply fill in the necessary information and you’re good to go. Of course, you can also create your own template from scratch if you’re feeling ambitious. There are no official formatting guidelines for homeschool transcripts, so feel free to customize however you see fit. Read on to learn about what you should (and should not) include on a homeschool transcript. 

See also: Top scholarships for homeschoolers

What is a transcript? 

A transcript is a record of your student’s academic history throughout their high school years. This document typically includes (but is not limited to) the courses they’ve taken, the grades they’ve earned, and their cumulative GPA. It’s a way for colleges to quickly evaluate the academic potential of applicants. In traditional school settings, transcripts are provided by school administrators. But in the case of homeschoolers and their parents, the family produces the transcript. There are few different ways to go about this, which we’ll discuss throughout the rest of this guide.  

Don’t miss: Scholarships360’s free scholarship search tool

Creating a homeschool transcript: what’s included?

Many parents choose to create their own homeschool transcript, and for good reason. It’s free! Plus, it’s a lot simpler than you may think. Free online templates make it easier than ever to put together an official homeschool transcript. Transcripts tend to vary between homeschools and even traditional schools, so don’t worry about adhering to a specific format. The most important thing is making sure your transcript includes all the necessary information. The following pieces of information are pretty standard for homeschool transcripts: 

  • Student’s name 
  • Name of the homeschool (if applicable) 
  • Homeschool’s address (usually your home)
  • Parent’s phone number
  • Expected graduation date
  • High school course list (ordered by year or subject)
  • Credits earned per course 
  • Grading scale 
  • Overall GPA
  • SAT or ACT test scores (optional)
  • The institution where each class was taken (homeschool, online institution, community college, etc.)
  • Parent signature and date

Your document should also be clearly labelled as an “official transcript” and be free of spelling and grammatical errors. Since you’ll be mailing the transcript out to schools, it should be printed on higher quality paper than you typically use. Some colleges may request a notarized transcript, but that’s typically not necessary. 

Don’t miss: How to rock your college applications

What should NOT be included in a homeschool transcript? 

Transcripts serve as a snapshot of the student’s academic experience. They provide a glimpse into the student’s educational background, but they do not tell the full story. Do not crowd the transcript with information found elsewhere in your application. The following pieces of information should be excluded from a homeschool transcript: 

Extracurricular activities

Colleges are eager to know about your child’s involvement in activities outside of academics. However, transcripts are not the best place to list extracurricular activities. There’s a section on the Common App dedicated entirely to extracurriculars. List activities here instead. If you’re using an application other than the Common App that doesn’t have an activities section, consider creating and submitting a separate document. 

See also: How to complete the Common App activities section

Awards

Colleges love to hear about the awards and achievements of their applicants, but they do not belong on transcripts. As is the case for extracurricular activities, there is a section on the Common App for  awards, honors, and achievements. If you’re applying to a school that doesn’t use the Common App, you should create a separate document to list these accomplishments. 

See also: How to complete the Common App honors section 

Course descriptions 

Some colleges may want to learn more about the classes taught in your homeschool program, especially if the courses are out of the ordinary. If that’s the case, you may want to provide more details in the form of brief course descriptions. If you decide to do this, do not include them in the actual transcript. Instead, submit descriptions alongside the transcript in a separate document. To see if course descriptions are preferred, check with the admissions office of the college to which you are applying.

See also: Applying to college as a homeschooler 

Other ways to get a homeschool transcript 

Not everyone creates their own homeschool transcripts. Here are some other ways to go about getting a transcript for your homeschooled students: 

Use a transcript service

For parents who don’t want to create their own transcript, there are a variety of paid transcript services on the market. Most transcript services have annual subscriptions ranging anywhere from $20 to $60 per year. Many services have record-keeping capabilities as well, which makes it easy to keep track of your student’s grades, assignments, and courses. Below are some of the most popular transcript and record-keeping services: 

Join an umbrella school 

If your child is a member of an umbrella school, you probably won’t need to create your own transcript. Umbrella schools typically provide transcripts for their students. If you’re unfamiliar, umbrella schools (also known as cover schools) are organizations that provide support to homeschooling families. They guide families through the legal nuts and bolts of homeschooling and help them comply with their state’s homeschool regulations. 

Sometimes umbrella schools are actual physical schools where homeschoolers take a portion of their classes. In other cases, umbrella schools simply help provide legal legitimacy to a family’s homeschool program. One of the reasons families join umbrella schools is because they provide transcripts and maintain school records. They may also issue diplomas, host graduation ceremonies, offer testing services, and provide guidance in choosing curriculum. This detailed guide should tell you everything you need to know about umbrella schools.

Also see: Scholarships for nontraditional students