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Last updated October 19, 2023

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How to Request Your Transcripts

Key Takeaway

Submitting your high school transcripts when applying to college can vary depending on the application process. The Common Application simplifies the process, while some schools have their own systems. It's important to communicate with your high school counselor and research to understand the specific requirements of each school.

No matter where you’re applying to college, you’re probably going to need a transcript. You are applying to go to school, after all!

But the logistics of getting your official transcripts to the schools you’re applying to can get confusing, especially if you’re a transferor non-traditional student.

Let’s get into it.

How to Submit High School Transcripts (non-transfer)

How you submit your high school transcript will depend on how you’re applying.

The Common Application, for example, makes the process pretty simple. All you do is add your high school counselor’s information, and they take care of the rest. Your counselor will be prompted to submit your transcript through the Common Application, and then the Common Application will send your transcript along with your application to each school you apply to.

But not all schools accept the Common Application. MIT, for example, has its own application system. In those cases, you’ll need to do some research to figure out how the school wants to receive your transcript. It’s likely that your counselor will need to upload it directly to the school’s portal or submit it through a service like SCOIR. Other schools might request that your counselor send the transcript directly to the admissions office email address.

When in doubt, don’t be afraid to ask! There’s never any harm in calling up the admissions office and asking a logistical question. (And if you get phone anxiety, don’t worry. If it’s just a general question, you probably won’t even have to tell them your name.)

Transcripts are one of the many reasons we recommend developing a good rapport with your counselor: a strong relationship comes in handy not only when requesting your letters of recommendation but also when you need help navigating the logistics of your college application. You’ll need to be in touch with them regularly, especially if you’re applying to places that don’t take the Common Application or Coalition Application.

What do transfer students and non-traditional students need to know?

If you've already graduated from high school, things are a bit different.

Depending on how long you’ve been out of school, you may need to send your college transcript in addition to your old high school transcript. If you're in your second year of community college or a four-year institution, you might not need your high school transcripts at all. In those cases, only your college work will likely count towards your application.

Be sure to read the fine print on the applications you’re submitting. The school should tell you what transcripts will be required. And when in doubt, ask the admissions office!

To send your high school transcript, you’ll probably need to reach out to an administrator at your high school. They might be able to send your transcript directly, or you might need to use a service like

To send your college transcripts, you’ll need to contact the registrar's office at your current institution. They’ll give you instructions about next steps, which can vary by institution.

Also: be aware—you might have to pay a fee to send official transcripts from your college or high school. It’s a bummer, but some schools charge $10+ for the service.


When applying to colleges, you need to provide your transcripts. If you're still in high school, your counselor's office will handle this. But for transfer students or those who have already graduated from high school, you'll need to reach back out to administrators for help. No matter your situation, it's important to talk with your counselor or registrar's office to make sure everything is sent correctly and on time. You should also contact the admissions office at the schools you’re applying to if you have questions.

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