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Homeschool Transcript Tips

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Student doing schoolwork on paperEvery high school student needs a transcript, and homeschooling parents have lots of options when it comes to choosing how to maintain school records. Some parents pay an umbrella school or transcript service to maintain their student’s transcript. Others opt to create their own transcript. Choosing which transcript format is best for your home school can be confusing, so we’ve compiled advice from admissions counselors and homeschool experts so that you can confidently create a complete and professional transcript for your student.

Keep it simple.

The more complicated the format, the harder it will be to maintain your transcript over time. This sample homeschool transcript contains all of the information that a college needs to determine whether your student meets its academic requirements. The simple format allows you to start the transcript as soon as your student takes his or her first high school course.

One for all.

A transcript is a certified record that includes a history of all courses attempted, grades earned, and academic degrees awarded. Your student’s high school transcript should only include courses that count toward high school graduation, and this may include high school courses taken early (e.g., Algebra 1 taken in eighth grade), courses taken at another high school, or dual-credit courses taken at a community college. But your student will only graduate from one high school, so please combine all courses on one transcript. Check your state’s graduation requirements if you need help deciding whether to count a course as an elective or an extracurricular activity.

Assigning and weighting grades.

Your home school philosophy may be based on mastery and may not include grades, but universities need to see a final grade for courses taken to evaluate your student’s readiness for college. Cedarville recommends that you follow the published grading scale and grade weighting policies of your local school district for honors, AP, or dual-credit courses.

Assigning credits.

A full-year high school course typically counts as one high school credit (1.0), while a semester-long course counts as a half credit (0.5). A college course taken for dual credit typically counts as one high school credit (1.0) regardless of length or number of college credits earned, unless the course counts for fewer than three credit hours.

Calculating GPA.

Application reviewers prefer courses to be listed by academic year (e.g., 2023-24), and they like to see both an annual GPA and an overall GPA. Cedarville will consider an unweighted GPA for admission, but your student may benefit from having a weighted GPA if he or she is competing for scholarships. There are many online tools that make calculating your student’s GPA a breeze.

Determining an anticipated date of graduation.

A transcript should include the student’s anticipated date of graduation. The date should reflect the year that your student would graduate if he or she completed a traditional K-12 program, even if your student is considering early graduation. Most colleges will not extend dual enrollment discounts beyond this date.

Including test scores.

You can add standardized test scores to the homeschool transcript, but it is not necessary. Official score reports can be sent to the school directly from the testing agency. Some schools may accept unofficial test scores, but it is generally best to have the official scores sent.

Preparer’s signature, certification, and contact information.

Please remember to sign and date your transcript and to provide current contact information for the person completing the transcript in case a question arises or a clerical error is discovered. Most colleges will accept an unofficial transcript for admission, but colleges will need a final official transcript when the student graduates from high school. The official transcript is a legal document, so you may, but are typically not required to, have the document notarized.

If your student’s transcript or test scores don’t tell his or her whole story, he or she may benefit from providing supporting documents that demonstrate college readiness.

Middle school grade report.

If your seventh or eighth grade student is applying, please submit a middle school grade report to supplement his or her application. If your student does not meet the college’s transcript or GPA requirements, then he or she may be asked to submit test scores that meet the college’s published proficiency requirements.


The resume is where many students shine. Extracurricular activities like volunteer work, football, or music lessons typically belong on a resume, unless you are granting a PE or fine arts credit for the activity.

College transcripts.

If your student has taken dual-credit courses at another institution, you may include a copy of his or her college transcript as supporting documentation.

Personal statement.

If your student has faced an unusual challenge that has impacted his or her grades, the student may write a brief letter to the admissions team explaining the steps he or she is taking to overcome an obstacle or improve his or her GPA.

Language proficiency.

International students will be asked to provide proof of English language proficiency. Whether you choose to design your own transcript or use a transcript service, homeschool parents are responsible for clearly and accurately representing their student’s academic status. And no one knows better than you how to help your student shine!

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Shellie Doub is Director of Dual Enrollment Recruiting at Cedarville University. She's a retired homeschool mom and a popular speaker at homeschool conferences and events.

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