Today, most high school transcripts are transmitted electronically, directly from high schools to colleges – there’s no mailing envelopes with a seal across the back anymore.
And when your high school transmits your transcript, another document travels with it: the school profile.
What’s In A School Profile?
What is this document, and why does it need to be sent along with your transcript?
The school profile is a document that gives colleges some context about the academic environment at your school. For example, some school profiles will list which AP courses are available at your school. Some will offer a list of the colleges to which the students in the last several years’ graduating classes were admitted, or in which they enrolled. Some school profiles will share the median or mean SAT or ACT scores for the students at your school who took these exams.
The purpose, again, is to put your transcript – your performance in high school, into context, so that colleges can better understand how you did in comparison to others in your class – even if they are not applying to the same colleges.
You didn’t know to look for it before, but your school profile is probably right on your school’s website. It may be under the “About Us” section, or it may be on the College Counseling page. If you can’t find it, you can ask your school counselor to give you a copy. We like to have our students review their school profile during their junior year.
Here’s a fairly concise school profile for one of the local high schools in our area. You can see that it also gives colleges the names, phone numbers and e-mail addresses for the college guidance office, in case they have a question about something on your transcript. Here’s a much more detailed school profile for a private boarding school on the East Coast.
You can see that the information contained in these documents could help colleges understand your academic choices, and your performance, a little bit better.