A Powerful Navigator To: “What Is An Unofficial Transcript?”

These days, you can apply for an internship or even a job while studying. Since you have not received your final degree with grades, the employers may require you to send them your unofficial transcript.

Unless you know how to submit them, you may lose ground to other applicants. There are different ways to send an unofficial transcript to the employers, which we will go into in this brief guide! You no longer wonder how to address these common questions:

What is an unofficial transcript?

How to send unofficial transcripts to employers when applying for a job?

Scroll down to get the ins and outs of this issues and prevalent career advice with Jobandedu!

What Is An Unofficial Transcript?

A transcript, or an academic transcript, records a student’s academic performance at a university, college, or institute. Conventionally, a student’s academic performance includes grades received, credits earned, lists of courses taken, etc. In this way, the academic transcript is used to evaluate students’ learning process over a period of time or when they have finished their bachelor’s program.

A sample of unofficial transcripts
A sample of unofficial transcripts – Source: slideshare.net

Typically, there are 2 types of academic transcripts: official and unofficial transcripts. Both of them display students’ academic performance, but each kind has its own use cases and features for different purposes.

Official transcripts can be directly sent to employers, other universities, or colleges in a sealed envelope (for off-campus purposes). You have to pay for your school to have each official transcript submitted. It has embossed seals, the registrar’s signature, and is marked as “official”. It must be printed on special, heat-sensitive, and watermarked paper.

By contrast, unofficial transcripts are widely used by students. They are usually copied or scanned from the official transcripts or electronic transcripts (for internal use).  You can access it online and download it without any fee. There are no embossed seals or signature of the registrar as it’s marked “unofficial.” It is commonly printed on plain or photocopy paper. 

When waiting for the arrival of official transcripts, you can use the unofficial one as an alternative. It often chronologically displays:

  • Transfer Credits (Coursework, other schools, quarter to semester, etc.)
  • Degrees and Honors Awarded.
  • Academic Program History (From previous to current schools, the form of training, etc.)
  • Courses Taken (Passed courses, failed courses)
  • Non-course certificates: (Informatics, Foreign Languages, etc.)
  • Scholarships.
  • Grants.

Unless your education program has finished, i.e., you are still awaiting your final scores, unofficial transcripts will also show a CIP (courses in progress) list.

When Do You Need An Unofficial Transcript?

Do I have to submit all college transcripts when applying for a scholarship or a job? In general, you may have to use official academic transcripts such as job applications, student exchanges, membership, scholarships, or grants. However, unofficial transcripts can replace official ones in some cases. For example, you may receive a request for unofficial transcripts from your employers or the head of a club you expect to join.

Employment Application

During the recruitment process, employers reasonably request academic transcripts from applicants. Although it is better to have an official transcript, an unofficial one is still acceptable. 

Thanks to applicants’ unofficial transcript, the employers can overview the applicants’ academic performance, achievements, or academic standings. 

When you apply for a job, you can attach your unofficial transcript to your résumé and cover letter. In this way, unofficial transcripts appear to be a placeholder within the recruitment process, and employers will later collect your official transcripts for more extended use. 

Membership Request

If you expect to join an academic club or association, you may have to submit an unofficial transcript. The head of the club will then see your transcript to decide whether you are eligible for the club membership or not. 

Usually, they tend to approve of your unofficial transcript instead of official ones. Indeed, no complicated procedures are required so that they often do not consult your school to proceed with your membership request.

Parents’ Evaluation

Most parents expect to see their children’s academic efficacy and achievements. Therefore, they may observe their children’s learning progress through an unofficial transcript.

In this case, requesting an official transcript from your school is unnecessary because your parents only want to know your scores. They don’t need to use it for any important purposes. That’s why an unofficial transcript is suitable for parents’ evaluation needs.

How To Submit An Unofficial Transcript?

To submit an unofficial transcript to your employers, you can either make a copy of your official one or download it from your school’s online educational system.

Make A Copy Of Your Official Transcript

You can request a copy of your official transcript from your school and then make other copies from that copy. Because you cannot touch the official transcript, you only have it copied by your school. 

Download Your Transcript From Your School’s Online System

As a student, you have access to your school’s online system. Subsequently, you can save the electronic transcript as a .pdf file and then print it on plain paper. 

Access to the unofficial transcript online
Access to the unofficial transcript online – Source: ccri.edu

You may wonder how to send unofficial transcripts to your employers after having them printed. In particular, there is more than 1 way of sending it to your employers. Typically, many choose to submit in-person and online.

Submit Your Unofficial Transcript

In-person Submission

You can take the unofficial transcript with you when you attend an interview with the employer. To submit it professionally and politely, you can also put it into an envelope (without any seals), and your employers will open it during the interview.

The employers may then contact your school via phone call or email to double-check.  

Online Submission

Your unofficial transcript is always available online on your school’s online system. Therefore, your employers may require you to submit it to them for more convenience. In this way, they and you needn’t contact your school to make the copy or ask for confirmation. You can follow one of these 2 ways: 

Submission via email

You can attach your electronic version of the unofficial transcript (.pdf file) to your job application (along with your résumé and cover letter, etc.).

An unofficial transcript as .pdf file
An unofficial transcript as .pdf file – Source: umgc.edu
Authorization for access via the link

You can allow your employers to view your unofficial transcript online as the guest. This way is more convenient than sending via email as it doesn’t require you to download the transcript then upload it. 

Another question you may have is “Do I have to submit all college transcripts?”. The answer depends on your employers’ requirements. Commonly, the employers only expect to check your latest or current transcript as it’s up-to-date and accurately reflects your competence. 

The Final Thought

What is an unofficial transcript? All in all, unofficial transcripts can replace the official ones in cases that do not require legitimacy. Indeed, an unofficial transcript reflects your learning process and academic achievements over a period. Therefore, it facilitates your job-seeking journey by giving credit to your solid knowledge. Advisedly, you’d better learn how to send unofficial transcripts to your employers professionally to smoothen your application process. You may also want to prepare a character reference sheet to enhance your chance of success in interviews.

John Hobbs

At Jobandedu, John Hobbs holds the position of senior blogger. Though Hobbs has achieved massive success as a researcher, adviser, and writer, he still had to undergo multiple trials and tribulations before finding his true calling. He considered it his life's work to assist others in discovering and developing their full potential. His broad expertise in diverse fields and specifications allows him to provide insightful, real-world advice. His writings offer in-depth guidance on finding and excelling in a career, using information gleaned from extensive study and his personal experience. Hobbs also has a creative and engaging writing style, which he uses to publish pieces wherein he discusses his interests, views, and studies.