Preparing Your High School Transcripts The Right Way

April 4, 2018
Written by:
Tasha Swearingen


Do you have your homeschooler’s high school transcript prepared and ready to roll? Or are you frozen in fear at the thought of it? For many homeschooling parents, just thinking about a high school transcript seems overwhelming. We have good news for you: you can totally relax because, by the time you finish reading this, you’ll have the tools to develop your own high school transcript!

What Is a High School Transcript?

A transcript is simply a written record of your high school student’s academic progress from 9th to 12th grade. Think of it like the transcript of a video. You have a video you can watch and then you have the transcript you can read. Well, instead of recording your high schooler’s entire life for four years, you can sum it all up in the high school transcript. It’s another piece of the “paper trail” you may have been developing for your student throughout the course of your homeschooling years. It outlines the subjects your students studied when they studied those subjects and their final grade in those subject areas. That’s it!

So why is it so scary to homeschooling parents? We’re guessing because it spans several years and because it can be time-consuming to put together at the last minute. While the fact that it covers several years shouldn’t scare you, you definitely don’t want to throw one together at the last minute. You’ll want to keep adding to the transcript each year (at the end of the year) so you’re not struggling to remember everything your student did for four years.

What Information Is Necessary on a High School Transcript?

Since the high school transcript is so important, make sure your student’s transcript has all the necessary information. Aside from your student’s contact information, the high school transcript should also contain all academic subject work your student has completed, the grade he or she received in each, and the credits earned for each course. In addition, you’ll want to include all schools your student attended, as well as any awards or achievements your student earned and his or her standardized test scores.

You can create a high school template by year, so all information recorded shows everything your student did each year. However, our free high school transcript template arranges information by subject. This is especially helpful for families whose students may not have completed academic subjects “in order” or whose students may have taken longer to complete subjects.

The High School Transcript: Step-By-Step!

  • Step 1: Start early! If you missed this step, start as soon as possible.
  • Step 2: Download a free high school transcript template to use.
  • Step 3: Enter your student’s residential information, along with your homeschool’s name and address. If you’ve never named your homeschool, you can skip that part of Step 3.
  • Step 4: Under each subject, enter your student’s academic information. Do this based on your student’s final grade in each subject for each academic year (9th through 12th). Create course descriptions for each course your student completes. Include what was covered in the course. Your course scope and sequence will help with this.
  • Step 5: Enter the credit amount your student has earned for each subject (either .5 credit for semester-long courses or 1 for year-long courses).
  • Step 6: Enter all schools your student has attended for his or her high school years.
  • Step 7: Enter any academic achievements your student has received in the appropriate section.
  • Step 8: You don’t need to add your standardized test scores, this is a FERPA violation. The college will request these scores directly from the College Board.

That’s it! That’s all there is to a high school transcript until your student completes 12th grade! If your student has completed 12th grade, proceed to Step 9.

  • Step 9: At the end of 12th grade:
    • Total the number of credits for each subject and enter the sum.
    • Total the student’s cumulative GPA. To do this, use the point values for grades at the bottom of the transcript. Just add your student’s final grades and calculate the average.
    • Total the student cumulative number of credits and enter this value in at the bottom of the transcript.
    • Sign and date the transcript.

Preparing a high school transcript for your homeschooled student doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. Starting early is ideal but even if you’re halfway through, you can do it in under 10 steps! Take your time and enter the information carefully. When you’re finished, be sure to keep it in a safe place because your student will need it for colleges and employers.

Tasha Swearingen

Tasha is a homeschooling mom to 5 and has been homeschooling for 14 years. Currently, her children's ages span from toddler to young adult. Tasha has a Bachelor's of Science degree in Social Sciences from Florida State University and is working on her MBA through SNHU/Berklee School of Music.