You have likely heard at least one person – such as an administrator or your academic adviser refers to your transcript during your time in college. In essence, your college transcript is your documentation in school and of your academic performance. Your transcript will list your classes, grades, credit hours and other academic information, depending on what your institution decides is most important. College transcripts will also list academic information that you might not want listed or that will be revised later, so make sure your transcript is up to date and accurate before using it for any important purposes. People will likely ask to see either an official or an unofficial copy, when someone wants to see your transcript. Often an unofficial copy is such copy you can print out online. It lists most, if not all, of the same information as the official copy. However, in contrast, an official copy is one that is certified as accurate by your university or college. It often comes sealed in a special envelope, with some kind of college seal and on institutional stationery. Official copies are much harder to duplicate or alter than unofficial copies, which is why they are the type most often requested.

College transcripts

Your college registar’s office likely has a rather easy process for requesting copies of your transcript, no matter official or unofficial. First you have to check online. Chances are you can submit your request online or at least find out what you will need to do. Feel free to call the office in case you are not sure or have any questions to ask. It should be easy to submit your request because providing copies of college transcripts is a pretty standard procedure for them. However, be prepared for your request, especially in case it is not an official copy to take a little while, because so many people need copies and you have to be prepared for that expense. You might be able to have your request rushed, but there will undoubtedly be a small delay regardless. You might be surprised at how often you have to request copies of your transcript, both as a student and later as an alumni. You might need copies as a student in case you are applying for scholarships, internships, academic awards, summer jobs or even upper-division classes. Also you might need to provide copies to places like health of your parents and car insurance companies to verify your status as a full-time or part-time student. You will likely need copies for graduate school applications, job applications and even house applications after you graduate or as you prepare for life after graduation. It is a good idea to keep a spare copy or two with you so you will always have an online available – proving, of course, that you learned more than just coursework during your time in school, because you never know who is going to ask to see a copy of your college transcript.