Official vs Unofficial Transcripts
While a transcript can be any conversation recorded onto a piece of paper as is the case in medical and legal transcription, this article concerns with the document that records the grades obtained by a student in an educational institution. This document is called a transcript, and there are both official and unofficial transcripts provided by universities and other educational institutions. Many students fail to understand the difference between the two kinds of transcripts. There are times when they are asked to produce official transcripts whereas they might need unofficial transcripts in some other cases. This article tries to highlight the difference between the two kinds of transcripts for the benefit of the readers.
What is Official Transcript?
At times when people apply for a job in an organization, they are asked by prospective employers, to take along their official transcripts at the time of the interview. These are documents containing the past results in the form of grades obtained in exams by the student. The results are given on a printout under the official seal of the educational institution inside a sealed envelope and meant for use outside the educational institution. Official transcript is issued by the authorities only, and they bear the seal of the registrar or the person who keeps these records for the educational institution. Outside companies or institutions asking for official transcripts often want them to be given to them in sealed envelopes.
What is Unofficial Transcript?
At first glance, it is hard to make out any difference between an official and an unofficial transcript as both contain the same information about the past academic record of a student in an educational institution. Both have the same chronological list of courses, grades, and the credits obtained by the student. Unofficial transcript, as the name implies, is not for official use. This means it cannot be presented to outside institutions or organizations. However, it is valid inside the boundaries of the issuing institution where it can be used to discuss study courses with teachers and also to get some paid jobs inside the universities. Students often ask for these unofficial transcripts from the admission office of their educational institutions, to keep as their personal record.
What is the difference between Official and Unofficial Transcripts?
• An official transcript is official in every manner, carries the signature of the registrar and the seal of the educational institution and kept inside a sealed envelope.
• An unofficial transcript is only a copy of the official transcript and has no value outside the institution as it does not carry the signature or seal of the issuing authority.
• Other colleges or prospective employers in an organization may ask for official transcripts during an interview.
• Official transcript is made available upon payment of a small fee to the issuing authority whereas unofficial transcripts are made available free of cost.
• Both official and unofficial transcripts contain the same information about the past academic results of the student, but official transcript has much higher importance and significance for employment and studies in other universities than unofficial transcripts.
• You need an official transcript when sending to other educational institutions, government agencies, and prospective employers.