How do colleges evaluate transcripts?

Posted on June 5, 2024 By Andrew Jacobs

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It is always good to initiate preparation for the college admission process ahead of time, especially in this aspect. Colleges usually scrutinize an individual’s performance, interest in the classes, and GPA while evaluating a transcript.

Each transcript communicates to the admission officer about an individual’s academic performance and achievements based on the difficulty of the chosen courses. However, don’t get confused because a transcript is not a high school report card.

Instead, a profound analysis of a candidate’s academic history goes beyond mere grades. The main goal of a transcript is to let the college know that a particular candidate is an excellent advantage for the campus. However, when selecting candidates, colleges have their own factors to evaluate a transcript. Want to know how? Then continue reading!

How Do Colleges Evaluate Transcripts: Secrets Unveiled

1. Assessing the Candidate Based on the Course Taken

Before glancing over a student’s grade, the admission officer first notices the course the student chose in their previous academic career. This includes electives, too, besides the majors.

For instance, some of the committee members might look at the challenging level of the course curriculum, and others might just speculate whether the candidate majoring in STEM took calculus to identify his/her interests. Simply put, the main purpose of this scrutiny by colleges is to know how the student managed to sail across the challenges by themselves without affecting their grades.

Therefore, a piece of advice for those reading this blog who are yet to complete high school is to consistently put the same effort and dedication into all the classes, be they majors or electives, using them as opportunities to shine and aligning them with your interests.

2. Assessing Based on the Core GPA

Securing a good GPA by combining all the subjects can be good-looking for a candidate. However, that is not the criteria used in the college admission process when they view the transcript. The important part is to look at the GPA secured by combining the 5 majors.

Sometimes, the college can even recalculate the GPA with the help of algorithms so that it is not off the mark due to many courses including physical education. Whereas, others just review the grades and their weightage as mentioned in the transcript.

Therefore, it's best to begin working hard not to entire a desired college putting more focus on core academic courses. Moreover, to know more about the approaches of a transcript by a certain university or college, it's best to reach the school’s admission representative much ahead before submitting the college application. Doing this can help students with;

● Answers to all the queries

● Developing relationships with the representatives and showcasing interest

3. Grade Trends Catch Their Eye

Grades of the present and the past are reviewed and analyzed to understand the candidate’s performance and improvement levels. If there is steady progress say, the grade at high school was poor and the graph went as the days progressed till the junior year can put a candidate in the positive light of the admission officer.

On the other hand, if there is the slightest dip from high school to junior year even that is considered and consequently it can create a bad result. However, if there is a reason, say the candidate was severely sick and had a dip in grades, mention it in the application to gain some consideration.

4. The character of the Applicant is Analyzed

Grades are not the only factor that can describe the candidate. The disciplinary records are next. Even when availing transcript evaluation services, these criteria will most likely be included. However, though it's not highly popular to provide admission for a candidate, there are colleges that request their applicants to submit the record for disciplinary actions such as suspension, detention, etc.

Therefore, ensure to submit an honest report to avoid getting caught in a worse situation if the report turns out to be a lie! Reach out to mentors or the school counsellor to get the report with a proper explanation.


Now do you understand? Transcripts are documents that are more than just numbers. Therefore it's best to take time to note what should go into it. Otherwise, you can reach out to ERES to create a captivating and honest transcript to impress your college admission officer!

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