By Catherine Clements | The Duquesne Duke
As December graduation approaches and seniors rush to apply to jobs and graduate schools, they must familiarize themselves with a new process for obtaining their school transcripts.
The Duquesne registrar’s office launched a new system in late October for obtaining school transcripts, which the office said will benefit students, despite imposing a fee for transcripts, which were previously free.
These changes come at a $4 cost to students for a PDF copy, $5 for a paper transcript or $5.50 for transcripts that are mailed.
The registrar’s office partnered with the National Student Clearinghouse to design the new system, which will send confirmation emails to students when they order transcripts online and which will allow students to receive their school records in a PDF form instead of the traditional hard copy.
If students opt to have the registrar’s office mail or email transcripts to potential employers or graduate schools, the new system will also send a second confirmation email to notify students when the delivery has been made.
Not all students appreciate the changes.
“I don’t really understand how my tuition can’t cover a $5 charge,” Catherine Connolly, a senior at Duquesne, said.
Junior Kelly Francis was also less than pleased.
“Duquesne is finding another way to rip students off,” Francis said.
According to the registrar’s office, the new charges go directly towards paying fees to the NSC and Adobe Systems, the software company that produces the PDF transcripts. The office is still providing transcripts at a loss, due to paper, ink and processing costs.
However, some students are upset at the extra charge that will make applying to graduate schools even marginally more expensive. Pursuing a graduate program requires students to pay exam and application fees. For example, registration for the GRE is $160, the LSAT $175 and the MCAT $240. According to the U.S. News World Report, the average application fee is $41.
“Applying for even a few programs is going to add up,” Francis said.
Transcript fees must now be paid on top of exam and application fees.
However, University Registrar Director Kim Hoeritz said with the new system will significantly reduce the work that student have to do to send digital transcripts.
According to Hoeritz, many graduate programs and employers expect digital transcripts. Previously, students could only obtain paper copies of transcripts that would have to be scanned.
Since the system change, students have ordered 52 percent of transcripts electronically. This has “cut the use of paper in half,” Hoeritz said.
Under the wold system, there was nothing to prevent students from ordering unnecessary and excessive amounts of transcripts. Copies of unclaimed transcripts piled up in the registrar’s office, Hoeritz said.
Hoeritz said it was clear that Duquesne needed “to move to a more sophisticated and efficient system.”
To order transcripts, students can log on to their DORI accounts and find the link within their student portal.