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Monday 20 June 2022


What an Unofficial Transcript and an Official Transcript Mean and what they can Be Used For

Having to explain to clients the meaning and uses of unofficial transcript and of official transcript is one of the things we steadily encounter per day, it’s almost like travel agents/PR and schools aren’t explaining enough what they mean when they ask travel aspirants to provide their unofficial or official transcript. But this is Pathfinders Edu. Consultancy (PEC), part of our jobs is to enlighten people who may be needing such, and the fact that this write-up caught your interest and retains your attention till this line can only mean that this topic we are about to discuss means so much to you. Trust us to give you the best of information anytime. Now let’s talk about what unofficial transcript and an official transcript mean and what we can use the two for.

Unofficial Transcript: an unofficial transcript is your own copy of your transcript and any other kind of transcript held by a body it was not addressed to. You can have your transcript sent to you by email or by courier (paper), but so long it’s you the owner they are addressing it to, then it is totally an unofficial transcript. Also, if your transcript was addressed to and sent to, for example, University of Lagos by University of Ibadan, but you go to University of Lagos to retrieve it and then send it to Obafemi Awolowo University, such transcript is only official to UNILAG but not to OAU. So don’t mind people who think their transcript is still official when they us this method in getting their transcript. Yes “official” can be written on the transcript because it is meant to be official to UNILAG, but when it gets to OAU, the fact that it’s not addressed to OAU alone makes it unofficial to OAU. If you have any institution that collects this kind of transcript as official transcript, the implication is that they do not know what official transcript means. Recently, the use of an unofficial transcript is popular in seeking for postgraduate admissions and scholarships, and mostly, when the admission or scholarship has been offered provisionally, they would ask for your official transcript.

Official Transcript: when you are asked to provide your official transcript, just know they are asking you to ask your school you graduated from to send them your transcript directly; it could be sent via email, or via courier or uploaded to their portal, but the sending and uploading can only be done by your school and done directly to the people or institution needing you to provide your official transcript. Note that an official transcript doesn’t depend on whether it is an association you are sending it to or an organisation or another tertiary institution or an employer, just know that so long the recipient is not you and the document is received by the body your school addresses it to, then it is an official transcript. A lot of people think if they request for their transcript from their school asking them to send it to a body, it would be an official copy, and they can collect it from that body and send it to another body requesting for their official transcript and it would still be official to them. Only one part of this thinking is right, the other is wrong; if you use the name of a body to request for your transcript and your school addresses it to that body and sends it to them, yes it is an official transcript to them, but when you retrieve it from that body (and open it or not), and then send it to another body which it is not addressed to, it is not an official copy to the that body. Official copy of a transcript simply means it is confidential between your school and the receiver to whom it is addressed and it is sent to. The uses of official transcript are formal; graduate schools ask for official transcripts when they have offered you a provisional admission and they need to be sure the unofficial transcript you used to seek for the admission is authentic. Employers ask for official transcript too, in fact these ones now prefer an official transcript to the certificate you submit to them; this is because you can render a fake certificate, but your school wouldn’t want to send them a fake transcript. Beside, your transcript gives more details about your activities while you were in school. Evaluation bodies only take official transcripts; only your school can send it to them directly and it must be addressed to them and sealed.

I hope you have now a better understanding of what official transcript and an unofficial transcript means. If you do not, you can reach out to us on +2348139534187 or for better talk on this topic. Knowing what you need would guide you through knowing how to work towards getting it, and might save you a lot of money and time.

People who read this also have interest in reading this:

Why Most OAU Transcripts Don’t Get Sent Ever or Get Sent But Several Months After Applying

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