College Planning

What's a High School Transcript?

Your high school transcript is a complete record of your academic achievements in high school. It starts with the first grading period of your first year of high school and is updated each term until you graduate.

The format varies from school to school, but most transcripts include:

  • Your name, address, and date of birth
  • The name of your school
  • The courses you’ve taken and when you took them
  • Your grades for each grading period
  • The weight of each grade (grades in higher-level courses like AP are often worth more than the same grade in a standard course)
  • The number of credits you earned for each course
  • Your cumulative GPA
  • Your scores on AP Exams, the SAT, or other standardized tests
  • Any academic honors you’ve received


Transcripts and College Applications

High school transcripts are necessary for almost every college application. They give college admissions officers a quick overview of a student’s academic performance and help them decide who to admit.

Official and Unofficial Transcripts

There are two types of high school transcripts: official and unofficial. The main difference: official transcripts are sent to colleges directly from high schools, while unofficial transcripts can be given directly to students. Many schools have online portals where you can print copies of your unofficial transcript.

Colleges almost always ask for official transcripts because they want to make sure the information on the transcript hasn’t been changed. Talk to your school counselor to find out how to send official transcripts when you’re applying to college.

See what else goes into a college application.


Other Uses for Transcripts

Some scholarships, internships, and jobs may also ask for a copy of your high school transcript. You’ll probably need an official transcript for scholarship applications, but unofficial transcripts may be acceptable in other situations.

Make sure you know what type of transcript is required before submitting any application.