Just how significant is your transcript? What kind of obvious and not so obvious information is included on your transcript? When applying to college, what is most important and what do college admissions officers look for when they review your transcript?
Obviously your transcript records your classes and the grade you received in that class. Your ACT score, student ID, birthday and the long awaited graduation day. But did you know that your transcript also tells about the level of rigor in your school's curriculum and your performance within that curriculum? Some insititutions compare the courses that your school offers and the courses that you choose to take. They want to see that you took the opportunity to challenge yourself.
Grades are also considered. Both your cumulative GPA and each year seperately. Looking at your grades from both perspectives shows performance over time. Your performance over time can tell a story. Do your grades trend upward or downward?
Let's not forget the electives you choose to take. These classes can tell admissions officers what your interests are. Think about Sterling Scholars, scholarships or internships. Can you apply to be the Business and Marketing Sterling Scholar without ever taking a business class? No you shouldn't!
Your transcript can also tell admissions officers about your ability to manage your time wisely. Choose to be deeply committed to a few extracurricular activities rather than padding your transcript and resume with a list of activities that make you look more engaged. It's about quality, not quantity. Don't fall into the "it looks good on a college application" trap. If you list too many clubs and activities they are going to wonder how you were able to commit your time and energy with any kind of quality.
Talk with admissions officers at the college that you are interested in attending. Then with your parents and counselors build yourself a transcript that will help you achieve your goals.