First, take a deep breath in. I know how nerve-wracking it is not to know if your online courses will show on your transcript.
But relax. You’re in the right place.
I hold online classes too, so I know exactly how this spiel works. Here’s everything you need to know.
What Does a College Transcript Include?
Think of your college transcript as your semi-permanent academic record.
A college transcript includes :
- All courses you took. Your college transcript will include your past courses, together with dates that show exactly when you started and finished them.
- Your personal information. Besides your full name, a transcript includes your date of birth and student identification number. It may also contain other information, like if you graduated or got any awards during your studies.
- Your GPA and your grades. Your grades are listed next to the courses they apply to. However, when it comes to your GPA, things get a bit tricky. Some schools only list overall GPAs or the GPA from the last semester. Others list students’ GPAs for each year.
- Other schools you went to. If you attended several schools, this will be visible on your college transcript.
- Official confirmation. An official college transcript will have a signature, stamp, or something else that shows that this is an official document provided by the registrar’s office. (Remember this for later.)
Do Online Courses Show on Transcript?
Yes, online courses show on your transcript. But maybe you’re wondering if they’ll appear differently.
Will anyone be able to tell you haven’t taken in-person classes?
Here’s what one Reddit user said, referring to online courses at ASU :
“Online classes from ASU do not appear any differently than in person classes. There is no way to tell, transcript or otherwise.”
Another confirmed that this is true for all online classes:
“There's no mention of location or delivery method on the transcript.”
However, my guess is that each school decides if they want to indicate that a course was held online or not.
How Can I Add an Online Course to My Transcripts?
Here’s how to add an online course to your transcripts:
- Complete a transcript request form. Submit your request to every school you attended if you want to get a full transcript. Usually, you’ll find the request forms on the schools’ websites.
- Pay the fee. Mostly, schools will send you one copy of your transcript for free - but others might not. If you have to pay the fee, do so asap.
- Wait. Transcripts usually arrive via mail. This will take up to 7 days. If you don’t have that much time, contact the registrar’s office and arrange that you pick up your transcripts in person.
Can I Submit Transcripts After the Deadline?
Hmmm… it depends on the schools you’re applying to.
Here’s what I’d do if I were you:
- Check the school’s policy. Most schools have a late submission/application policy right on their website. I’d check if they accept any late submissions here first.
- Contact the admissions office. If I didn’t find the answer on the website, I would contact the admissions office. I’d be very nice to them too, to make them more likely to accept my late submission.
- Send it now. If all else fails, I’d take the risk of sending my transcript anyway. The worst thing that could happen is paying the mailing fee without getting in.
Does My Transcript Have to Be Official?
Yes, your transcript must be official.
Remember how I said that official college transcripts always include some type of confirmation that the document actually came from the registrar’s office? Yeah…
I told you to remember this because this is the reason why you can only submit an official document (the one you paid for) and not simply print out the list of courses you took from your school’s website.
Your transcript has to include a stamp, a seal, a signature, or other official documentation that confirms where it came from.
This is the best way for colleges to prevent students from submitting false transcripts.
What to Do Once You Get Your Transcript
Just these three steps:
- Check with your future school where to send transcripts. Ask admission people to give you a specific address.
- Let the old school know. In most cases, you’re not the one sending the transcripts. Your ex-school is.
- Follow up with the new school. After a few days (~7), contact your future school to check if they received your transcript(s).
Wrapping Up: Should You Add an Online Course to Your Transcripts?
Whether you took online courses by choice or the pandemic forced you to take them online, you still did take them… didn’t you?
That’s why they absolutely need to be added to your transcripts.
Sure, some schools might choose to indicate that you took them online. But your future school probably won’t care either way, considering the current situation.
Adding online courses is really easy too. You just have to submit your request, and request forms are usually available on schools’ websites.