It may seem trivial to track down transcripts, but they are important to the unknown person perusing your college or job application. Colleges and employers request a student’s transcripts for many reasons. Specifically it helps them to assess the potential of the students in relation to how well they will fit with the university or business.

Why Grades Matter

The GPA assists the institution in understanding the student's work ethic, the knowledge gained from high school experiences and where the student’s strengths are, as well as potential weaknesses. A solid GPA can help the student get through the pile of applications by pushing their application to the top based on numbers alone. When shifting through job applications, a potential employer may use GPA to sort eager applicants into those they want to call in for interviews. They may spend their time getting to know the applicants better to see if they are a good fit for that company.

Identification Requirements

If you currently attend the high school, the guidance counselor or registrar can assist in how to get a current copy of your transcript. Before you spend time attempting to find the correct contact information for your former high school, make sure that you have all the identification information they may need in place. An official school identification card, valid driver’s license or state issued identification card are usually required to obtain a student’s transcripts. You will need the student’s school district and identification number for that district as well as the full name of the student.

How to Check

There are two types of transcripts, official and unofficial. While they both contain the same information, the official transcript tends to have tamper-proof water marks or other official seals to show that the information on the transcript has not been altered.

Sometimes an institution will ask for transcripts to be sent from the student’s former high school in a sealed envelope to ensure that they are official and that there has been no opportunity for them to have been tampered with. If the school sends your transcripts in a sealed envelope, leave the envelope unopened for future use.

The unofficial transcripts can often be printed from the high school’s website or at the office or front desk of the school. Before sending your transcripts, make sure that you understand which version the employer or college is requesting. Official transcripts can take a few weeks to arrive. There are many sites that can assist you in tracking down the unofficial transcripts.

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