No More Confusion About Academic Transcript

It is a very well-known term; academic transcript to every international student who has gone through the admission process for studying a course at an abroad institution in the USA or other European countries. But to the aspiring international students willing to study abroad, it may be confusing to differentiate between semester mark sheets and an academic transcript. This current article will let you know in detail about various key aspects related to the term: academic transcript i.e. (i) what is an academic transcript, (ii) types of academic transcripts (iii) when an academic transcript is required and (iv) how to get an academic transcript etc. 

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What is a Transcript?

Describing a transcript/academic transcript in very simple words, it is nothing but the combined summary/record of all the modules/subjects/courses you have attempted/completed each year during your college or university-level studies along with the grades in individual subject/course/module and also, degree awards achieved by you. An academic transcripts include way more information than this: name of academic institutions where you attended the respective degree course, institution-specific address, course title, your college/university registration number, your name, start as well as completion dates for the respective course/degree, cumulative grade point average (CGPA) for the respective course/degree and grading scale for the concerned institution etc. An academic transcript can also be termed as a college transcript or school transcript or transcript of records or academic record or CRF (cumulative record file) etc.

Types of Academic Transcripts:

In General academic transcripts are categorized into two types:  

(i) Official Transcript: an academic transcript is considered an official one if it is delivered by the awarding institutions i.e. from where you completed your undergraduate or graduate studies to the institution where you are seeking to get admitted abroad without any interference of the third party i.e. no other person is involved in the process of transfer of academic transcripts, except the awarding institution and receiving institution/organization. Usually, an official transcript comes in a sealed envelope with the signature of the director/registrar of the respective institution/university across the seal. An official transcript can also be transferred via a secure digital media/network as well. A digital official transcript must be password protected, digitally signed and certified by the issuing institution. 

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(ii) Unofficial Transcript: a transcript is considered to be unofficial if it goes through the hands of the student i.e. student copy. An academic transcript generated/printed through the student portal is an unofficial transcript. Unlike, an official transcript, an unofficial one comes without any seal or signature of the awarding institution. An emailed transcript is the best example of an unofficial transcript.  

When/Why do we require an academic transcript?

Generally, an academic transcript (most probably the official one) is required to an international student who wishes to make an admission application to study at an abroad institution/university. An academic transcript provides a detailed summary of the academic background; modules, subjects, minors, majors or courses studied by the candidate to the admission commitee and let them know about the suitability of your proposed course in relevance to your academic background. Also, it is a very well known fact that grading scales differ from one country to another or may be from one institution to another and hence, to determine the equivalency of the grades awarded to the student with a grading scale of a particular abroad institution, an academic transcript is a key document. Also, if a candidate is seeking credit transfer from one institution to another in abroad, even then an academic transcript play an important part. 

How to get an academic transcript?

The procedure of getting an academic transcript is different for an unofficial transcript and an official transcript. Generally, an unofficial transcript can be downloaded/printed by using a student account from the official website of respective institutions. However, most of the institutions in abroad allow you to use an unofficial transcript to make an admission application, but before getting confirmation of acceptance, it is must to present an official transcript.  

In the case of an official transcript, you have to make an online or offline request to the registrar's office of the respective institution for issuing the one.  In order to get an official transcript, you have to apply for one either by filling an online transcript request form (as in the case of University of Delhi) Or by filling an offline transcript request form for it and submitting it manually or by post (as in case of Kurukshetra University). You can ask for multiple copies of your official transcripts by mentioning the number of transcripts you needed in the transcript request form. It may take about 3 weeks or sometimes more to get an official academic transcript. 

However, at most of the institutions around the world, either an offline or an online transcript request form is available to apply for the issuance of academic transcripts. But in very exceptional cases, at some institutions, you are required to submit a written application to the respective institution's registrar for issuing an academic transcript. 

Along with an offline/online transcript request form or written application for issuance of academic transcripts, you are necessarily required to submit these following documents as well:
  • All your semester mark sheets and degree certificates for the qualification for which you are applying to get an academic transcript 
  • Application fee receipt (in an online application, you can pay the application fee online, in that case, there is no need of a fee receipt). You are required to pay more for every additional transcript copy you ask for. 
  • An identity document confirming your personal details

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