Grades are one of the factors colleges take into consideration when deciding to reject or accept prospective students into their institution.

One of the most important parts of your college application is your official high school transcript. Your high school transcript can be sent to colleges in a variety of ways. A college might want a paper transcript, or you may need to submit a transcript request through a website or electronic system. The application requirements of the college or colleges on your list will tell you exactly how they want you to send your transcript, but if you’re not sure, make an appointment with your guidance counselor to discuss these details of your application.

Sending Transcripts the Old-Fashioned Way

Some colleges may want a paper transcript from your high school, or maybe your high school will only send transcripts if you have filled out a paper form. It’s important to visit your guidance counselor in order to find out these little details before you start applying to colleges. In these cases, your school will give you a form to fill out to request transcripts. You will need to know the address of the college admissions office where you want your transcript sent.

Sending Your High School Transcript with the Common Application

Many colleges are now using the Common Application to make applying to colleges easier for students. The Common Application is an online college application portal that allows students to submit their applications to more than 800 schools in the United States, Canada, China and Europe.

However, some things never change: To submit your high school transcript to the Common Application, you need to visit your guidance counselor and fill out a transcript request. Your guidance counselor will be the one who submits your official transcript online with your school forms attached. If the college to which you’re applying prefers to receive paper transcripts, you will still need to submit a transcript request through your guidance counselor. Depending on your school’s policy, you may need to mail the transcripts yourself.

Sending a Parchment Transcript

Some high schools, especially large schools, may use Parchment.com to help students receive and send their credentials. If you need to send a Parchment transcript, you will first need to make an account on Parchment.com. After that, follow the instructions on the website that ask you for your information. After you order and pay, the website will electronically send your Parchment transcript to your school or schools of choice. As with other methods, check with your guidance counselor first before you start the ordering process.