What Are College Transcripts?

Books in library.jpg

A transcript is the official record of a student's academic history. It contains a complete inventory of all classes taken, both successfully and unsuccessfully, as well as the grades received. You will need a copy of your official transcript to provide evidence of your academic history.

1 Information on a Transcript

The transcript is the official record of your academic history, including a list of all classes taken and grades received. The transcript may also list the number of students who were enrolled in the class and the average grade received in the class. Also included will be the degrees attempted or conferred, any honors received and information on the program of study.

2 Why You Need Your Official Transcript

You will need a copy of your official transcript in order to provide evidence of your academic record. This is necessary if you are attempting to transfer to another college or university, applying to graduate school, seeking employment or applying for scholarships or grants. You will have to contact your educational institution to order a copy of your transcript or authorize the school to release the information.

3 Student Records

At most colleges and universities, transcripts are stored in the Student Registrar's office, which is the office responsible for student records. With registration at most colleges and universities now done online, you will likely be able to view an unofficial transcript through your school's online registration program. This does not count as an official transcript, but may be helpful to you in registering for classes.

4 How to Obtain a Copy of Your Transcript

You will need to make a formal request to your school's Registrar's Office to receive an official academic transcript. Depending on your school's policies, your alma mater may be able to send the transcript directly to another institution. Otherwise, you can have it mailed to you or arrange to pick it up at the Registrar's Office. Make sure that you do not have any outstanding fees or the school may withhold your transcript.

  • 1 "Complete Book of Colleges 2010"; The Princeton Review Inc.; 2009
  • 2 "Bound For College Guidebook"; Frank Burtnett; 2009

Andrew Hoffman is a writer and blogger originally from Boston. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University, where he studied history, languages, philosophy and religion. Hoffman has also worked as an editor, creative consultant and English tutor.