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How to Get Your High School Transcript
There are many reasons you might need a copy of your high school transcript. Maybe you’re applying for colleges, for a job, for a grant, or for scholarships. You might be looking into transferring high schools and want to transfer your credits over. Either way, having a copy of your high school transcript is important.
It’s important to note the difference between “unofficial” and “official” high school transcripts. You probably already have an unofficial transcript on-hand or easily accessible on the internet. In some cases, these will be all you need. But in other situations, you may need an official copy. Let’s get into situations where you may need an official or unofficial transcript. After that, we’ll show you how to get an official copy or an unofficial copy of your transcript.
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What is a high school transcript?
A high school transcript is a document that tells the reader the school you attend, the courses you’ve taken, the grades you’ve received, and your weighted and unweighted GPA. In some cases, it can also contain a disciplinary record and an attendance record. Your high school might also include your class rank and any academic honors you received. By looking at your transcript, the reader will be able to not only find out your GPA, but the rigor and focus of courses you took. Students with many honors or AP courses will stand out when someone views their transcript.
What is the difference between “official” and “unofficial” transcripts?
Official transcripts come directly from your high school and typically contain a seal or digital form of preventing any tampering. These are more trustworthy and typically required for more official purposes. However, they are harder to coordinate, and you’ll need to get in touch with your high school farther ahead of time to ensure they arrive on time,
Unofficial transcripts can often be generated through your online grade portal. They do not have the same turnaround period as official ones, so they are easier to obtain. However, they may not be acceptable for some purposes.
Also read: When should I apply to college?
Situations where you probably need an official transcript
Typically, colleges and scholarships require an official transcript. If you decide to apply at the last minute, they may accept an unofficial transcript as a placeholder before the official one arrives. However, you should try to avoid this situation and be as proactive as possible with official transcript requests. Grant requests and high school transfers typically also require official transcripts.
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Situations where you can probably get away with an unofficial transcript
Although you’ll typically need an official transcript, there are a few situations where you can just submit an unofficial one. Oftentimes, high school internships and summer jobs will only require your GPA or an unofficial transcript. Some scholarships may also accept an unofficial one, or only require an official transcript upon awarding you the scholarship. That being said, always make sure to triple-check the requirements. Accidentally submitting an unofficial transcript would be a disappointing caveat to disqualify you from the running.
How to get a copy of your transcript
You can typically get a copy of your transcript at your guidance counselor’s office. If you only need an unofficial copy, you should be able to get a copy in a few minutes if your counselor is free. But if you need an official one, it may take a few days to seal and print or generate digitally in a secure form.
Through your school’s website
Oftentimes, your school will include the option to generate a transcript on its website. Some use portals that are native to their website while others have specific gradekeeping software that runs through their website. You can typically instantly generate unofficial transcripts and might even be able to make requests for an official one.
You can typically request official transcripts by emailing your guidance counselor. Make sure to include where you want the official transcript sent; typically, official transcripts need to go directly from the school to the recipient to ensure authenticity.
Via a third-party website
Some high schools have opted to outsource their transcript services to external websites. These sites, such as Parchment, allow you to request transcripts directly, though they are more likely to charge you a fee. Make sure to contact your guidance counselor to determine whether you need to access one of these websites.
Now that you are to the point where you need copies of your high school transcript, you might need some additional help on your college admissions journey. Make sure that you fill out the FAFSA as soon as it is available for optimal financial aid. Learn more about how many colleges you should apply to, how to get college application fee waivers and how to choose a college. Best of luck on your higher education journey!
Frequently asked questions about how to get your high school transcript
Do I have to pay to get a copy of my transcript?