What Are Transcripts and Why Do They Matter?
Though nobody loves tracking down transcripts, it’s something that you have to do if you want to go back to school. Your transcripts tell us which classes you’ve taken and the grades that you got — which is how we make sure that you get credit for the classes you passed.
Unofficial VS Official Transcripts — What’s the Difference?
Don’t let the names confuse you! Both official and unofficial transcripts contain the same information. The main difference is that while you can access your unofficial transcripts on your own (most people just print them off the computer), your official transcripts need to be ordered and are sealed so that no one can tamper with the information.
Official transcripts have to be sent directly from your previous school to your new school and must arrive sealed in order to remain “official”. That means if you send your official transcripts to yourself and open them, they become unofficial. Colleges typically charge a fee to order official transcripts.
As for unofficial transcripts, colleges legally have to provide you with a copy of these, even if you owe a balance. They're sometimes called "grade reports" or "degree audits," and they usually come in a digital format that you can upload directly into your application. These should always be free!
If your school does not provide unofficial transcripts, then you can just order an extra set of official transcripts for yourself. Note that when you open your official transcript, it invalidates it and it becomes unofficial, so you will still need to provide an official copy of your transcripts directly to the school you're applying to.
Which Transcripts Do I Need?
Before you can start school with Guild, you’ll need to find both versions of your transcripts. We’ll ask you to upload your unofficial transcripts during the initial application process. Later on, you’ll need to have your official transcripts sent directly to the school that you’re planning to attend.
You will need to provide transcripts for every school that you've previously attended.
How Do I Upload My Transcripts?
If you have a digital copy of your transcripts, you can upload them directly into your application, as long as they're a PDF, JPG, or PNG file. If you have a physical copy of your transcripts, then you can either scan them or take a picture of them and upload the file directly into your application. Please ensure that all 4 corners of the document are showing and that all details are legible.
We highly recommend skipping the snail mail and going electronic. To send electronic unofficial transcripts, you can simply screenshot the page that you would have printed and upload it to your application.
As for electronic official transcripts, you’ll still need to contact your school and have them send your transcripts electronically to your new school.
But What If I Had Bad Grades?
We get it, sending in your academic history to strangers is intimidating — especially if you didn’t do well in school the first time. But here at Guild, it’s our job to help working adults like you reach your education goals. We look at your transcripts as proof that you went to school, and as a way to make sure that you start out in the right program. Plus, federal databases track the schools you've attended, and so there's no point in hiding your previous enrollments. You won’t be able to enroll in or graduate until you send in official transcripts from every school you’ve attended.
What If I Don’t Want You to See Certain Transcripts?
While we don’t judge things that may have happened in the past, we do need your complete transcripts to help you move forward in your education.
If you’re holding back transcripts because of past grades, you won’t be able to enroll in your program. It’s best to be completely honest about your academic record from the start so that we can help place you in the right program. If you try to hide any of your transcripts we will find out, and it will only delay your education.
We know that tracking down your transcripts can be intimidating, but when you know where to look, it’s actually quick and easy.
Will My Previous Credits Transfer?
With any of our partner schools, the only way to know if your previous credits will transfer is to fully apply and send your transcripts. Once you do that, the school will be able to determine how many of your credits they can accept.