September 22, 2005
Vol. 25 No. 1

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    Registrar simplifies its transcript ordering process with one-time fee

    By Josh Schonwald
    News Office

    In an effort to make life a little easier for current students and alumni, the University’s Office of the Registrar is now simplifying the process of ordering transcripts with a new one-time lifetime transcript fee that will allow students to order an unlimited number of official transcripts.

    “For $35,” said Thomas Black, University Registrar, “students and alumni will never have to pay for a transcript again.”

    Black expects the one-time fee, which will debut this fall, will make economical sense for the vast number of University students and alumni. Currently students pay a fee of $7 per transcript if ordered in person at the registrar’s office or through the mail, and $10 per transcript if ordered online. Because transcripts are necessary for applications for fellowships, study abroad programs, and graduate and professional school admissions, a typical Chicago student orders two transcripts a year.

    Even after graduation, Black said, data show that graduates continue to order two or three transcripts for several years. For a typical student, the new payment plan will pay for itself after four or five transcripts. During the coming transitional year, the lifetime transcript fee will be set at $25 for returning students, and $35 for entering students. For alumni not opting to take advantage of the lifetime transcript fee, the per-order fee will increase to $12 for each order placed in person, through the mail or online. After next year, entering students will be billed the lifetime transcript fee in their first year.

    “Transcript fees have been a barrier for some students,” said Black. “Students have complained that the fees have been getting too high. We wanted to do something that would help people do things they want to do. And one easy thing is to make ordering transcripts more affordable.”

    The Office of the Registrar also is planning to make transcript ordering easier by further streamlining the transcript distribution process. “Speed is important for so many students and alumni requesting transcripts,” he said. “We’d eventually like to be able to distribute transcripts online.”