What Are High School Transcripts?

In this article, you will learn about what high school transcripts are. Find out what information is included in transcripts and how they are used in college admissions, scholarship applications, and more.

High School Transcripts– What Are They?

High school transcripts are official documents that summarize a student’s academic progress and achievement while attending high school. They typically include a list of all the classes a student has taken, the grades they received in each class, and any honors or awards they may have received. 

learn about what high school transcripts are

Transcripts also include the student’s GPA (grade point average), which measures their overall academic performance. Furthermore, they are often required for college admissions, scholarship applications, and job applications, as they provide a detailed and accurate record of a student’s academic background and achievements.

What Is In A High School Transcript?

We previously mentioned a couple of factors that will be listed in your transcript. Nevertheless, high school transcripts are detailed. Take a look at all your transcript will include below–

  1. Full name
  2. Date of birth
  3. Address
  4. School name
  5. Cumulative GPA
  6. Courses taken and when it was taken
  7. Credits earned per course
  8. Grades for each quarter
  9. Weight of your grade
  10. Scores on exams like the ACT or SAT
  11. Academic achievements and honors

When Do Transcripts Begin?

Transcripts start in the first quarter of freshman year and end in the last quarter of the student’s senior year. They are periodically updated as you move through your high school years.

What Are High School Transcripts Used For?

Think of your high school transcripts as a resume of your work and effort in school. These transcripts are often used for various purposes, including applying to college, getting a job, and more.

College applications

Many colleges and universities require applicants to submit their high school transcripts as part of the admissions process. This helps the institution understand the student’s academic background and determine their eligibility for admission.

High school transcripts are an important part of the college application process because they provide colleges and universities with a comprehensive overview of a student’s academic background. 

Though transcripts play a big role, they aren’t the only ones. College essays are highly required when applying. Check out the five flaws found in most college application essays!

These transcripts contain detailed information about a student’s coursework, grades, and other achievements during their high school years and can help colleges understand the student’s strengths and areas for improvement.

In addition to serving as a record of a student’s academic achievements, high school transcripts can also provide colleges with important context about a student’s educational background. 

For example, a transcript may show that a student attended a school with a strong or weak curriculum or faced specific challenges or opportunities that may have affected their academic performance.

Overall, high school transcripts are a critical component of the college application process and play a significant role in helping colleges understand a student’s academic background and potential for success.


The vast majority of scholarship programs require applicants to submit their transcripts as part of the application. This will significantly affect the student’s eligibility for the award.

They can help the institution understand the student’s academic preparedness and gauge their potential for success in college. In some cases, a high school transcript may also be used to determine a student’s eligibility for certain awards or financial aid programs.


Some employers may ask for a copy of a job applicant’s high school transcript as part of the hiring process. This can help the employer understand the applicant’s education and skill level.

High school transcripts can be an essential factor in employment, as they provide employers with a record of a job candidate’s academic achievements and skills. 

These transcripts contain detailed information about a candidate’s coursework, grades, and other achievements during their high school years and can help employers understand the candidate’s strengths and areas for improvement.

This may be particularly relevant for jobs requiring specific educational qualifications, or a solid academic background is seen as an asset. For example, an employer may want to see a candidate’s transcript to confirm that they have completed specific courses or to gauge their overall level of academic achievement.

Military service

Specific military branches may require applicants to submit their transcripts as part of the recruitment process. This helps the military understand and determine eligibility for enlistment.

Official and Unofficial Transcripts

There are two main types of transcripts: official and unofficial. It is essential to understand the difference between these two types of transcripts, as they may be required for different purposes and have different levels of credibility.

It is important to note that the terms “official” and “unofficial” can vary depending on the context. For example, some schools may consider a transcript that has been printed from an online student portal to be an unofficial transcript. In contrast, others may consider it to be an official document. 

It is always best to check with the requesting party or the issuing institution to determine the appropriate type of transcript to provide.

Official Transcript

An official transcript is an official document issued by a school or educational institution that contains a written record of a student’s academic achievements, coursework, and grades. 

Official transcripts are often required for a variety of purposes, such as college applications, scholarships, and employment. They are typically issued on official transcript paper, with the school’s seal and signature, and may be mailed directly to the requesting party or released to the student to forward.

Unofficial Transcript

An unofficial transcript is a copy of a student’s academic record that has not been issued by the school or educational institution. These transcripts may be printed on regular paper and may not include the school’s seal or signature. 

Unofficial transcripts are generally used for informational purposes and are not typically accepted as official documents for things like college applications or employment. When applying to college, you will need an official transcript. This is required to ensure the information wasn’t altered in any way.

Final Thoughts

High school transcripts are crucial to your success after graduation. Whether official or unofficial, they will dictate your admission to college, the military, and a job. Plus, they will determine whether you receive scholarships, financial aid, or awards.

Remember that transcripts are built throughout your time in high school. Thus, you must apply yourself through all four years to have an impeccable transcript. Your grades, test scores, GPA, and more will all be laid out into a paper, so make it look good!

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