We should not have to pay to send official transcripts

Written By Erin Yudt and

It’s everyone’s favorite season: internship season. In the midst of a full class schedule, work and extracurriculars, we are applying for internships and trying to make plans for the summer. In these applications, sometimes an employer may ask for an official transcript from the university. This is what happened to me. 


As I made my way through this internship application, five essays and 10 headaches later, I saw that the last action I needed to complete was sending an official transcript. I had never requested one before, but I heard from others that the process was annoying. Now, I know why.


Eleven dollars. That is how much it cost to send my official transcripts electronically to this internship employer. Eleven dollars to send an email! I was completely baffled. Now 11 dollars may not be much in the grand scheme of things, but it was 11 dollars that I did not plan on spending, especially for something that I may not even get. Why in the world does it cost this much for something “official” when I can literally just send my advising worksheet with the same information myself. What even is this whole construct of transcripts? On top of that, it is 11 dollars every time you want to send a transcript, you don’t pay one time and have access for life. 


I will admit that it was pretty simple to request transcripts online, and the registrar’s office got back to me pretty quickly, but I was grunting the entire time I made my way through the request. I did not notice until I was uploading my payment information that this was not even through a Point Park system, but something called the National Student Clearinghouse. 

“Of course this is another national scam off of students like the College Board,” I thought to myself. And that is basically what it is.


The National Student Clearinghouse is an educational nonprofit that provides educational reporting, verification and research services to North American colleges and universities. NSC has a nationwide network of about 3,600 colleges, representing 97 percent of the postsecondary enrollment. Now, you may hear “non-profit” and think to yourself that it is okay, but the College Board is a non-profit too. 


National companies like these know they are always going to be in business because there will always be college students who need essential services like these, from the SATs to transcripts. I am not saying to abolish the College Board and the National Student Clearinghouse, but I am just reminding others that these companies charge money simply because they can. Nonprofits need to stay out of the red, too, and will exploit college students and their bank accounts no matter what. I think requiring an official transcript for an internship application is ridiculous in the first place, but what is even more ridiculous is the act of having to pay for one and the institutions behind them.