Hefty cost for academic transcripts fazes students
CORRECTION: Wits Vuvuzela acknowledges Wits Registrar Carol Crosley was originally misquoted in saying that: Wits is in the process of implementing a self-service statement where students can print an “official” copy of their transcripts. It was meant to read as “unofficial”. We regret this error which has been corrected in the copy below.
Affording an academic transcript for a job interview or university application can be costly for a newly qualified student.
Wits Vuvuzela looked into the cost of academic transcripts at universities around South Africa and found that Wits is the most expensive when it comes to ordering a transcript.
The cost at Wits for an academic transcript is R50 for current students and R100 for Wits alumni.
With graduation taking place at least six to eight months after qualification, especially for honours and master’s students, a student will only receive their free copy a week after graduation. But this poses a problem for those applying for jobs straight after university.
History honours graduate Mick Channon said he had to buy one when he applied for a teaching post at the beginning of this year as he is only graduating in June this year.
“I was shocked that I had to pay R100 for a piece of paper,” Channon said.
Robyn Kirk, a Journalism honours graduate said the price of academic transcripts at Wits “is ridiculous”.
“I studied at Rhodes for my undergrad and there we could order as many transcripts as we needed for free.”
Wits Registrar Carol Crosley said that last year the price of transcripts was brought down from R120 to R100 for alumni.
“It’s not a money-making scheme, the special watermarked paper and security measures that are imprinted within that paper are expensive. The price we charge basically covers costs,” she said.
Crosley also said Wits is in the process of implementing a self-service statement where students can print an unofficial copy of their transcripts “which will be useful for applying for jobs” before receiving an official copy at graduation.
Wits Vuvuzela called the records department at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and was told it costs R50 for alumni to apply for an academic transcript and they receive three official copies.
The University of Pretoria allows students to print transcripts out and have them officially stamped for free. But for alumni, it costs R50. However, they are implementing a new verification process where the older the date of qualification, the longer the waiting process and more expensive the transcript.
The University of Stellenbosch charges alumni R75 for a copy of a transcript. If a student or alumni prints out their own record a small fee is charged to have it stamped.
“I think it’s so stupid,” said a Stellenbosch alumni who asked to remain anonymous.