Will I Need My College Transcripts After Graduation?

Just as your high school transcript was important for your life after high school - you needed it to get into college - so is your college transcript important to your post-graduation endeavors. Your college transcript is used to prove to employers and graduate schools that you've earned a college degree and to show what you studied in your degree program. Continue reading to learn more about the importance of college transcripts.

Why College Transcripts are Important

A transcript is the record of everything you accomplished while in college, including the credit and non-credit classes you took, the degree or degrees you earned, your grades and more. You'll need this information in instances where you are required to provide proof of your academic accomplishments and proficiency. This can occur while you're still in school, such as when you apply for a scholarship, but it can also happen after you've left college. If you apply for admission to any other higher-learning institutions or pursue certain jobs, your college transcripts may be needed for verification purposes.

Important Facts About Transcripts

Academic Information Grade Point Average, courses taken, standardized test scores
Course Completion Transcripts list every course taken, whether or not a student completed it. This means that W's (withdrawn) and I's (incompletes) will also appear
Other Uses for Transcripts Internships, scholarships, academic awards, transfer applications, research opportunities
Submission Although there are many ways to send a transcript, it is highly recommended that they be sent electronically

Higher Education

When you're applying to graduate school, you will need to send along a transcript record so that your application is considered complete. Having a copy of your transcript allows the committee or person who reviews your application to get a picture of your academic achievements and to determine whether you meet the school's admission requirements. If you attended more than one school as an undergraduate student, you will probably need to send transcripts for each school you attended. Transcripts may also be necessary if you are applying for postgraduate loans or scholarships.


If you will be applying for a job in a college, university or government agency that requires a college education, it is highly likely that you will need to submit a college transcript with your application. This allows your potential employer to verify that you have the level of education required for the position you would like to hold. Private employers may or may not ask for transcripts. Because obtaining an official college transcript often requires processing time, you might keep a few copies on hand when you're applying for jobs.

Official vs. Unofficial Copies

An official transcript is usually a paper copy of a transcript that has been signed and sealed by a school's registrar. You can also obtain unofficial transcripts, which can be delivered digitally or in print and do not carry an official seal. Most schools will charge a fee for either type of transcript, although the cost of an unofficial transcript is frequently less. When you apply to graduate schools or for jobs, you will probably need to send an official transcript, although sometimes an unofficial copy will be sufficient.

Requesting a Copy

If students default on educational loans, they may encounter difficulties in obtaining copies of their transcripts. When students are in default, some schools will allow them to request official transcripts for employment or education purposes only under certain conditions, while others will allow access to an unofficial transcript but not the official version. To obtain a copy of your transcript, you will likely go through your school's registrar's office, either in person, by telephone or via the Internet.

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