How to Request Your High School Transcript

Bonus Material: PrepMaven’s SAT Score Ranges for 500 Top Schools

There are many situations in which you might need to get a copy of your high school transcript, including college applications, scholarship competitions, or even job interviews. 

Often, you’ll need to be able to get your transcript quickly to not miss out on the opportunity, but finding how to get your high school transcript–especially if you’ve been out of school for a few years–can be difficult. 

In this post, we’ll briefly cover when you might need to get your transcript and what the easiest way to get it is, as well as some common problems you might run into. 

If you’re thinking about your transcript in terms of college applications, you should check out our free spreadsheet of SAT score ranges for top schools like Harvard and Princeton. If your SAT score doesn’t quite cut it, your GPA might help keep you competitive! 

Jump to section:
How to Request Your Official High School Transcript
How to Get an Unofficial Transcript
Requesting a High School Transcript for College Applications
Next steps

If you need your official high school transcript, the only way to get it will be to contact your school administration directly. 

If you’re lucky, your school will have an online form that you can fill out in order to request your high school transcript.

Otherwise, you’ll have to get in touch with your old high school over phone or email. 

We strongly recommend that you contact your high school over the phone rather than over email if you’re in any kind of a rush. Especially around busy times of the year (college application season, for example), the administration’s inboxes will be flooded with similar requests, and you risk having your email fall through the cracks. 

Instead, we’d suggest calling the guidance office, or even just the school’s front desk so that they can redirect you to someone who can help. 

It might feel a bit awkward, but it really should be an easy process. 

If you’re still a student at your high school, you can always go to the administration or guidance office in person and ask them how to get your official transcript. 

Many opportunities won’t actually require you to get the official transcript of your high school grades. Instead, they’ll be okay with an unofficial electronic copy of your high school grades. 

Fortunately, this should be much easier to get your hands on. If your school has any kind of online portal where your academic information is recorded, you should be able to find a detailed summary of all your grades there. 

It may take some searching on your part, and it also may require you to combine different pdfs (for example, if your online school portal only lets you view your grades for each year separately). Overall though, it shouldn’t be too much work!

If you can’t find the option to download an unofficial transcript on your school portal, then unfortunately you’re back to square one: you’ll just have to contact your school administration directly. 

If you’re worried about getting your official high school transcripts for college applications, we’ve got some good news for you.

In almost every case, your high school transcript will be submitted for you by your school’s guidance counselor once you enter their information into the application system. 

For example, if you’re using Common App for your college application, you’ll notice a spot to add your school guidance counselor to the application, usually via email. Once you do, they’ll take care of everything to do with your transcripts on their end, and you don’t have to worry about it!

Often, high schools will have a portal like Naviance. If that’s the case at your school, you might see that Common App (or your other college application portal) prompts you to connect your school portal account to your college admissions application. Once you do, the colleges will have access to your transcript and any other information your high school wishes to share. 

In other words, requesting a high school transcript for college applications is a streamlined process that you don’t have to do much for. Still, you should make sure to enter all the relevant information as early as possible to make sure you’re not leaving anything for the last minute!

Whether you’re applying for college admissions, internships, or other programs that require your high school transcript, the key is to be proactive and get your hands on it before you need it. Most often, the best way to do so is simply to call your high school. 

Of course, you also want to make sure that your transcript reflects impressive academic achievements. If you find yourself wanting to improve your grades or get other guidance for the college application process, contact us to get paired with a tutor who’s an expert in whatever you need help with! 

If you want to know how you compare against other college applicants, check out our free spreadsheet of SAT score ranges for top US schools below. The further you are from these ranges, the more crucial it’ll be for you to have a high GPA!

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Mike is a PhD candidate studying English literature at Duke University. Mike is an expert test prep tutor (SAT/ACT/LSAT) and college essay consultant. Nearly all of Mike’s SAT/ACT students score in the top 5% of test takers; many even score above 1500 on the SAT. His college essay students routinely earn admission into their top-choice schools, including Harvard, Brown, and Dartmouth. And his LSAT students have been accepted In into the top law schools in the country, including Harvard, Yale, and Columbia Law.