High schools are generally required to keep transcripts on file for a certain number of years after a student graduates or withdraws. But how long do high schools keep transcripts? Let’s find out.
What Are High School Transcripts?
High school transcripts are important documents that contain a student’s academic record, including courses taken, grades received, and any awards or honors earned. These transcripts are often required for college applications, scholarship applications, and employment purposes.
If you want to know more about what high school transcripts are, check out my article about it.
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–
- Full name
- Date of birth
- School name
- Cumulative GPA
- Courses taken and when it was taken
- Credits earned per course
- Grades for each quarter
- Weight of your grade
- Scores on exams like the ACT or SAT
- Academic achievements and honors
For How Long Do High Schools Keep Transcripts?
Knowing how long your high school will keep your transcript on file is essential, as you may need to request a copy later.
The specific length of time that a high school will keep a transcript on file can vary, but it is typically at least five years. Some schools may keep transcripts on file for longer, while others may only keep them for a shorter period.
No national law states how long a high school record should be kept. Thus, it tends to differ from state to state. For instance, these records are kept permanently in states such as Oklahoma, North Carolina, California, and Maine.
Other states, such as New Jersey, Wisconsin, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arizona, and Maryland, hold on to records for five years. Once students transfer/drop out or graduate, records are destroyed.
The majority of high schools keep transcripts for as long as they are educationally relevant and can be used. Some districts may keep student documentation up to two years post-graduation before eradicating them.
In states such as Massachusetts and Illinois, high schools keep transcripts for 50-100 years. This can be a bit too much to store documents.
Nevertheless, you get the gist. Transcripts are kept for an indefinite amount of time. There is not just one answer. Therefore, students must make sure they keep a copy of their high school transcripts as documentation.
As a courtesy, some schools will go out of their way to alert past students that their documents will soon be destroyed in case they still need to get a copy of them.
Accessing Your Student Records And Transcript
You can follow a few steps to get access to your student records, including your high school transcripts. Here are some suggestions–
Start by contacting your high school or the school district where you attended school. Ask for information on requesting a copy of your transcripts or other student records. You may need to provide identification and proof of enrollment or graduation.
You may also check with the state department of education in the state where you attended school. Some states have online portals where you can request copies of your transcripts or other student records.
Consider using a third-party transcript service. These services can help you request and receive copies of your transcripts from multiple schools or school districts.
If you have difficulty accessing your student records, you may need assistance from an education lawyer or advocacy organization.
Note that there may be fees associated with requesting copies of your student records. Be aware of any privacy laws or regulations that may apply to your request.
Who Else Has Access?
Students aren’t the only ones with access to their records. Student records, including transcripts, are generally considered confidential and are protected by federal and state privacy laws.
These laws regulate who can access a student’s records and for what purposes. Generally, student records can be accessed by the following individuals and companies.
Students have a right to access their own records and can usually request copies of their transcripts or other student records from their school or school district. School officials, including teachers, administrators, and other staff members, may also have access to student records as part of their duties.
Student records may be shared with authorized individuals or organizations, such as colleges or universities, scholarship organizations, or prospective employers, if the student has given permission or if it is required by law.
Student records may be disclosed to legal authorities, such as law enforcement or child protective services if required by law or court order. Students must know their privacy rights and understand how their student records may be used or shared.
If you have concerns about who has access to your student records, you should contact your school or the appropriate education agency for more information.
Why High School Permanent Records Are Important
High school permanent records, also known as transcripts, are critical documents. Permanent records are important because they comprehensively overview a student’s academic achievements and abilities.
They can also be used as a reference for academic advisors, teachers, and other education professionals to help guide a student’s academic path and make informed decisions about their future.
In addition, permanent records can be useful for tracking a student’s progress over time and identifying areas where they may need additional support or resources. They can also be used to demonstrate a student’s qualifications and accomplishments to potential employers or academic institutions.
In conclusion, you should know how long your high school will keep your transcript on file. The specific length of time that a high school will keep a transcript on file can vary, but it is typically at least five years.
Some schools may keep transcripts on file for a more extended period of time, while others may only keep them for a shorter period. Check with your high school to find out how long they will keep your transcript on file, as you may need to request a copy.