Staff editorial (Mar. 29, 2012)

Story by The Spectator Staff

The way UW-Eau Claire students receive their transcripts is changing, and with that change comes a price.Earlier this month, an online program operated by Credentials Solutions went live that would allow students to get .PDF files of their transcripts for $8 and hard copy versions for $10.The old program used to rely on the student or alumni that was requesting the official transcript to take care of all the mailing and receiving themselves, something that garnered some negative feedback.

By going through Credentials Solutions, students now have to pay, which some members of the editorial board found disappointing.  However, having this streamlined process might outweigh the detriments of having to pay extra.

The old process was confusing and unreliable and this seems like a way for it to be more organized and efficient, something that could easily benefit students.

But these costs could add up.  With grad school applications, scholarships, job applications or any other time a transcript is needed, students will have to pay.  And those costs could grow and grow.  Paying $10 once is fine, but if the costs keep piling up, it could get out of hand.

Granted, the entire student body shouldn’t be footing the bill for the people that require official transcripts.  To take the money from segregated fees would be faulty because not every student absolutely needs official transcripts.

It’s good that it’s on a case-by-case basis currently.  If students are applying for grad school, that’s their prerogative.  Not everyone should pay for it.

There are some ways to get free transcripts, one being that unofficial transcripts are free.  Also, the program allows a person a few free gratis transcripts at graduation.  However, neither of these are reliable enough.

Most places require only official transcripts but the majority of job and graduate school applications are sent out before graduation so those free gratis transcripts do little good.  This section of the transcript system could definitely use reworking.

But the price remains a little steep, especially for the .PDF.  Charging $8 for a computer file seems silly.  Especially when a person could probably ask an employer if an unofficial transcript is acceptable first before paying the price for an official one.

What separates the unofficial and official transcripts is essentially a watermark on the official document.  And it’s not difficult to produce, so in all, it shouldn’t probably be as expensive at it is, but there are ways to get around it to save a buck or two.

Should UWEC have outsourced with Credentials Solutions in producing transcripts?
Yes: 3
No: 5
Ab: 1

Is the price too high?
Yes: 8
No: 0
Ab: 1