May I Submit an Unofficial Transcript to Save Money?

New and renewal applicants are required to submit official transcripts.

Penn State University’s website has a description of official transcripts:

An official transcript is the University’s certified statement of your academic record. The official paper transcript is printed on security sensitive paper and contains the University seal and signature of the University Registrar. The official electronic transcript is a PDF secured by a digital certificate which is displayed at the top of the transcript along with a blue ribbon.

We also accept authenticated, signed Adobe PDF documents for renewal applicants and awardees asking for the second disbursement. Some universities allow secure electronic transmission, so ask your registrar about that. Some universities allow you to provide proxies access to your financial and academic records, so that would substitute for an official transcript as well. We also accept documents from secure services like Interfolio.

Remember, as is clearly stated on the application:

For each institution which awarded you a degree, submit your mostĀ complete official transcript. Submit your latest official transcript which shows your current progress towards the educationalĀ goals you listed above. Only submit your high school transcript if you have not completed significant college work.

For 90% of applicants, you will only need to submit 1 or 2 official transcripts. If you are nearing the end of your PhD or professional school and you have 2 previous degrees, you probably need to be using a service like Interfolio as you apply for other grants and then jobs.

If one of your institutions is charging too much money for a transcript, then you should discuss with that institution a remedy such as those I’ve mentioned above. Or organize a student strike. Or something. But it’s not FEF’s responsibility.

FEF also requires official transcripts for award winners to get the 2nd half of their disbursement. If you don’t want to pay for an official transcript showing your grades in the Fall semester, have the Financial Aid office explain to you and the FEF Secretary how to verify that you passed your classes in the Fall semester without an official transcript being sent.

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