How to create a homeschool transcript: Example and template

homeschool transcript

Whether your child is interested in the trades or a four-year college degree, you’ve likely considered how a high school transcript will be involved. As a mom to six kids (one who has already graduated college), I can tell you that parents stress about this quite a bit. 

But you don’t have to worry anymore. It’s not as difficult as you think! I’m going to walk you through how we did it, and what you can do to make the process easier on you and your student.

What does a high school transcript look like?

Perhaps the very best way to create your own transcript is to look at what others have used. Here is an example of what I used for my daughter (with some information, like grades, changed for privacy reasons.)

Homeschool transcript example

high school transcript example

What’s included on a transcript?

A transcript is designed to give the college just the info they need – nothing more and nothing less. Please be sure your transcript has the following:

Your homeschool name (or “Homeschool” if you don’t have a name)
Your homeschool address
The phone number you can be reached at as the parent/administrator of your homeschool
Your student’s name
Your student’s birthdate
The month and year of expected graduation (which may be in the future)
Subject and grade records (more on that below)
Your name and dated signature

Course and grade information

The highlight of the transcript is the information about what your student studied, when they studied it, and what grades they received. This part is somewhat flexible, as parents have found that some coursework can count for more than one purpose and that grading isn’t always an exact science.

I urge parents to be fair to their student and also honest. You do your child no service in exaggerating how well they did in math so that they can hit that 4.0 you want for them. The school has other ways of assessing your child’s aptitude, most commonly with the ACT, SAT, or CLT. Please try to do your best in giving your child the grade they worked for and deserve. 

Courses can be grouped by subject or by grade. I find grade to be the easiest to list out and also to read. Include:

Grade the course was taken
Course name
Number of credits earned
Grade received
Grading scale

At the bottom of each section for the year, include the grade point average for that year. Then, you will also have a total grade point average for the entire high school career (also called “cumulative.”) That is the GPA schools will use when considering admissions and scholarships.

(Need help calculating GPA? Use this tool.)

How can I get a homeschool transcript?

There are several ways to get a transcript, in addition to making your own, they include:

1. Get one from your partner school. 

If you are enrolled in an online academy, umbrella school or some private schools that operate as homeschools, you may have access to transcript services. An example would be the Veritas Press Scholars Academy, which creates these as part of their service. If you pay for an online school, chances are good that you can get transcription services. Inquire about what may be available.

2. Use a service like 

This option still requires you to input all the information for your transcript, such as course, year, grade, and school information. Once typed in, however, the service will create a nice, professionally-done transcript form that you can send directly to your school of choice. 

(Our college let us print it out and mail it directly, while another we applied to let us download it and send via email. Check with the college admissions department to see what they require.) 

We used FastTranscripts with our first child, and it made the process much easier for me. 

It also doubles as a record-keeping software, so you don't have to wait until the end of your child's Senior year to put in all the info. (Get a free trial here.)

3. Create your own. 

This is the cheapest option accepted by most every college or trade school we have encountered. You can use a variety of formats, templates, or spreadsheets, but the basic info on each will be the same. 

How to create your own transcript

Note that even if you choose to have a service like FastTranscripts put your data together, you'll still need to have the right info to put on the transcript. This process works for a service or for doing your own transcript on a PDF or excel spreadsheet. 

Here are the steps to get it done:

1. Make a list of everything your child was taught

This is the hardest part. You'll want to go through all of their course materials, online courses, textbooks, and readers to document what they did through all four years. Write down the books used and the years they learned it. (Good record-keeping will make this easier, but if you didn't keep track, you can do it now!) 

Examples include:

9th grade:

  • Apologia Biology
  • Math-U-See Algebra
  • Driver's Ed at the safety school
  • 4-H CPR course
  • 3 Progeny Press literature guides (Frankenstein, etc.)
  • Co-Op Art Studio I semester course
Do this for every grade, every course, and every learning material.

2. Reverse engineer your courses

Now, you'll go through your state education requirements (if they have any) and the course requirements for the top three or four schools your child is interested in attending. Most all colleges or trade schools have these requirements on their admission pages. For reference, you can see what the College Board looks for as well as what NCAA Division I sports require.

NCAA requirements:

  • 4 years of English
  • 3 years of Math (Algebra I or higher)
  • 2 years natural or physical science (with at least one lab)
  • 1 extra year of English, Math, or Science
  • 2 years of Social Science
  • 4 years additional core courses (from above, non-doctrinal religion or philosophy, or foreign language)

Rigorous vs. basic college prep

One other thing to consider is how rigorous your curriculum is compared to what colleges want. If you want to attend a state school with lower requirements than an Ivy League school, your transcript should reflect that. How can you know what's considered rigorous? The guide on the right-hand side here can help. Just select the coursework rigor you expect your student to receive and modify your course schedule to meet or exceed what the colleges will want to see.

3. Match them up

As you look at your list of high school courses taken, you can see how they will fit into these core requirements for your chosen college, the College Board, or the NCAA requirements. Start filling them in, year by year, for all four years. You may have extra courses, and that's OK!

4. Fill out your transcript

You can now put in what you have, all the way until Senior year. If you have your Senior year planned out, you can put those high school level courses in tentatively. Just leave the grades empty. When you submit to your colleges, you'll be letting them know what your child is on track to learn, but the empty grades will signal to them that the homeschool student hasn't completed them yet (but plans to before they graduate.) 

You can do all your GPA Calculations with this free tool. (It's what I use!)

Don't worry. You'll get a chance to submit a final, completed subject transcript after they graduate and before they enroll in the school of their choice. 

How a homeschool transcript example might differ

These examples may look different than your child’s transcript. Here are some ways that you may tweak yours to fit your student’s learning experience:

High school coursework taken early

Coursework complete prior to high school is technically not supposed to go onto a high school transcript. But, what if your child is a math whiz that completed Algebra I and II in the 8th grade?

Where does that go? Since colleges do look for a total of three or four years of math, it would look rather silly to not have these essential math courses on the transcript. Assuming your child did well, you’d want to get credit for them in high school. 

You can choose to do one of two things: Include these in the 9th-grade year, along with whatever math they took in 9th grade as an Advanced Math course of study, or you can choose to start with the 9th grade math you actually did and then make a note at the bottom of the transcript letting them know that high school math was done in junior high.

Courses that don’t match conventional course names

We currently take the Veritas Press Omnibus self-paced courses with our kids in Junior High and High School. Of course, you would never see us writing “Omnibus” on the line for the subject. What would a college think of that? They surely wouldn’t know what it meant.

Thankfully, Veritas Press has broken these courses down into the subjects as they would be listed on the transcript, so they will better match what the colleges are expecting. The Omnibus I course, for example (if both primary and secondary and taken in the same year), counts as a credit each of Ancient World History, Ancient World Literature, and Theology I. This is helpful to know, because colleges can easily recognize these courses when seeing if the student has a well-rounded education.

Check with your curriculum provider to see what subjects their courses can count for, especially if they aren’t named conventionally. For example, we learned that our speech and debate club counts their curriculum as one credit of communications for their school students. Another workshop our children attend give the kids a half credit for civics. It’s on you to research how these unique courses and camps fall into your credit plan, so be sure to ask! 

Easy high school transcript template

While you can find Excel spreadsheets for homeschool high school transcripts everywhere, I highly recommend FastTranscripts. They make it easy to track and manage your transcripts -- especially for multiple kids. 

If you insist on doing your own, however, you can find a template at many college websites, including Regent University and Covenant College

Don't forget to use a GPA calculator!

How to send official transcripts

The colleges will all have different methods that they request transcripts. Some will be OK with you emailing them, while others need them to come through formal means. Typically, high schoolers have their guidance counselor or high school send them directly, without them having access to them. 

Since you are the parents, you'll do something similar. Most schools will want you to send a printed out "formal" transcript through the mail. 

They usually don't need anything other than this. If they do need it notarized or similar, they should let you know. (This is rare, however.) 

You've got this!

Honestly, if you've gotten to this point, you deserve a cookie! Creating a high school transcript can take time, but it's not difficult. Once you have an example to look at, an idea of what coursework is required, and a list of your child's completed coursework, you're mostly there.

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