It’s hard to believe your homeschooler is now in high school and that they need a high school transcript!
Then there are some fear mongers in the homeschool community that make it seem like an impossible feat for the average homeschool mom to accomplish. Don’t buy into that! It’s a process – yes, but it’s something that anyone can handle.
Want to Create Transcripts that Will Get Your High School Student into College?
Our free No Stress Guide to Transcripts explains it in simple steps that will have you on your way to creating a solid well-built transcript for your high schooler.
- Name of student, homeschool name (if applicable) address, and phone numbers
- High School Courses Listed by the year or by grade if you did courses out of order.
- Any college courses, dual enrollment, or honors courses
- Course grades. This should include semester grades and then final year-end grades.
- The student’s final homeschool grade point average (GPA). Often there are also yearly GPA’s included as well.
- Homeschool credits are given per course. These should be listed for each semester and then for the entire year.
- Grade scale that was used in the homeschool
- Optional – standardized testing *This is not required in fact, some homeschoolers believe that it violates HIPAA. The college can request these scores directly from the College Board.
- Final graduation date
- Parent signature with a date
In addition to the basic transcript, colleges may want to see a few more things. Some colleges can be very competitive in the selection process, and making your student’s transcripts stand out can really make a difference. In a transcript going to a college include the basic information above as well as:
- Course descriptions – sometimes this can be simply a sentence but some colleges may want a short paragraph (note that not all colleges require course descriptions – please check with the college in question)
- A list of any extracurricular activities or volunteer hours
- A list of any leadership skills, awards won, volunteer hours, or other accomplishments
Ready to go deeper? You’ll want to print out an actual transcript template to work with while you walk through each step of this guide.
Start Here by printing the Free Transcript Template and then come back for the printable guide to transcript creation book. These two tools will help you create a college-ready transcript for your high school student.
Telling parents of a homeschooled teen that they need to prepare a high school transcript can be equivalent to yelling, “Fire!” in a movie theater – panic ensues. While a high school transcript may be a necessity, it is not impossible and can be quite easy if you keep good records as your child progresses.
The Importance of a High School Transcript
Most colleges now require a high school transcript from homeschooled students. Even if your student is not college-bound, creating a complete high school transcript is important for employer screening, joining the military, good driver insurance discounts, and eliminating the need for a GED to prove high school education.
Keeping track of information needed for a complete transcript can be a challenge, especially if you wait until your student’s senior year and try to wing it. Starting in 9th grade, begin preparing a transcript as your student progresses, keeping accurate records of books read and curriculum used in each course along with a brief description of each course and your student’s grades. The courses your homeschooler completes should be aptly named like courses offered in accredited public and private schools in order to standardize the learning requirement: Biology, Algebra, English 1, etc.
What About Nonacademic Courses?
Some courses that can count for high school credit may fall under the category of “life skills”: woodworking or shop, gardening, nutrition, cooking or culinary, computer, and auto mechanics. Anyone looking at the transcript should be able to easily recognize the course as a legitimate high school level course and have some idea of what was taught. Hence, a short course description is necessary. Check online with public and private accredited high schools to see what is taught in accepted standardized courses such as home economics or child development. Then, see what skills your student has learned that would qualify for legitimate high school courses. If you did not use a curriculum, select a few books that apply, have your student read them, and then list these on the transcript in your brief course description.
Colleges require certain college prep courses, but the rest are usually considered “electives.” Contact colleges to see what they require. The earlier you contact them, the better because some colleges and universities have different requirements for homeschooled students.
What Goes On a High School Transcript?
The goal of a high school transcript is to communicate what your homeschooled students have learned and achieved in preparation for college and life.
- Identification info: Student’s name, address, school name (if applicable), phone number, gender, birth date, person to contact and phone number (usually mom or dad’s info).
- Coursework: Include a list of courses, by year, and the corresponding grade (either by semester or by year). Include a short course description when the course is not a required course.
- Credit awarded: You should award either 1 or ½ credit for each course. Give 1 credit for a full-year course and give ½ (.5) of a credit for a semester-long course.
- GPA: Be sure to assign the right number of points for each grade earned when calculating a homeschool GPA.
- Standardized tests: You don’t have to include your standardized test scores since colleges can access those directly from the College Board.
- Optional: Include extracurricular activities, scholastic clubs, and awards.
Our Guide to Homeschool High School Transcripts will walk you through the process step-by-step. You can either start from scratch or use a high school transcript template. The important thing is to list courses clearly and concisely, making it easy to understand your child’s high school learning without further explanation.
What Other Records Should You Keep?
Keep records of anything that may benefit an “audit” of your child’s high school career. This information comes in handy for college entrance and for possible scholarships. Examples include:
- Work samples
- Test results (evaluations or report cards)
- Resources and curriculum used
- Sports and other activities
- Jobs held consistently for pay
- Recommendations from club directors or employers
- Community involvement (church, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, etc.)
- Leadership roles or offices held such as being a club secretary or president
- Awards or special recognition received
Your student’s transcript should be one you can happily provide to anyone who may ask because it competently and accurately reflects your teen’s high school academics. Hopefully, the panic has left and you are feeling a little more comfortable in creating a professional transcript for your homeschooled teen!