You NEED Transcripts!

Posted on Tuesday, Feb 17, 2015 by Karen W. Severn

Applying to professional school means that you will need to order official transcripts. Unfortunately, this tends to cause confusion and frustration for many Aggies. This can lead to delays in applications being completed and even missing out on programs, admissions and scholarships because your file is not "Complete"!

First, some basics. When you enroll in a college or university, you create an academic record. This includes co-enrollment in high school, summer school, and web courses. If you enrolled in a course, started it, but withdrew from it before the end of term, you have a record, which is displayed on official transcripts. That's right! Even if you didn't finish the course, you have an official transcript.

So, when do you need official transcripts? 
  • To transfer credit to another school;
  • To prove a degree was received;
  • To apply for a professional license;
  • To apply for graduate or professional school.
Here's where the confusion begins. Let's say you take an English course at Blinn. You have them send the transcript to Texas A&M, and, voila'!, ENGL 104 shows up on your unofficial Texas A&M transcript! But, wait.... that is your unofficial transcript, really meant only for you. On your official Texas A&M transcript, the course will NOT show up, it will only show "Blinn College, 3 cr." Also, Texas A&M cannot vouch for your record at another school!

Bottom line-- When you are applying to professional school, you will need to order transcripts from every school of higher education you ever attended. Typically, this transcript must go directly from that school to the application service. You cannot pick up a transcript and mail it yourself! Texas A&M has a subperb transcript office! They will mail the transcript wherever you please! Many application services, including TMDSAS and LSAC, require that you provide their Transcript Request Form to the school mailing the transcript. 

So, as soon as you are able to order transcripts for an application, do so! Some community colleges have very small transcript offices and it can take a while for them to send a transcript. Best bet? Order transcripts from all of your schools in May or June. That way, if trouble arises (parking ticket at Blinn for instance), you have time to get things cleared up without missing a step!