Many international scholarships, whether they are based on need or merit, will require you to submit your official transcripts along with your completed application. While not all scholarships require this, the majority of them do, especially the more competitive and higher value awards. Nevertheless, your transcripts are an indication of your academic performance along with an overall prediction on your future performance. Because of this, you will most likely need to have official transcripts.
An official transcript is your transcript printed by your school on official paper, sealed in an envelope, stamped with the school’s official seal, and signed by the registrar. This ensures that the transcript has not been tampered with and that this is the true and official document.
An unofficial transcript is a listing of coursework and grades, which can many times be viewed right online depending on your school. Most scholarships will not accept the unofficial transcript unless it’s an on-campus award and the details confirm that it is acceptable for submission.
You will need to request the official transcript from your school. Many schools require that you pay a fee to do this, and will also charge you an additional fee to send it to a specified address. If this is the case, we recommend asking for multiple copies as many scholarships, schools, and possibly job employers may request this from you. Remember, don’t open the envelopes as this can make it invalid as an official transcript and thus may not be accepted.
There is no doubt that an international scholarship is competitive. Many students are competing for free money – and if you had hundreds or thousands of dollars, would you give it to just anyone? Of course not! Whoever is giving out this award wants to make sure that you have the proper credentials and are deserving of this money.