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Submit a request for an "Application for Transcript" from the Coast Guard Institute.


The American Council on Education (ACE) evaluates training of many kinds conducted in formal non-college settings. What they're evaluating is how many college credits the trainee would have earned in specific subjects had she mastered same material in a college setting.

So, when you complete a formal Coast Guard training course (such as recruit training or "A" school), you essentially earn college credit.  Those credits are usually distributed among a number of subjects.  And you can request a transcript created from an assessment by the Coast Guard Institute of your training record.  It will show how many credits you'd have earned and the subjects in which you'd have earned them if you'd mastered the same material in college.

There are two types of transcripts you can request from the Coast Guard Institute: official and unofficial.

  • Official transcripts are used by colleges, universities, and (occasionally) employers to verify that you've actually completed a course.  Official transcripts are printed on special watermarked paper that shows tampering.  They're sealed in specially-marked envelopes. The Institute sends them directly to recipients you specify on the request form.

  • Unofficial transcripts are sent to you and your ESO for your information only by e-mail.  It's unusual for a college, university, or employer to accept an unofficial transcript as proof of anything, although an institution of higher learning may offer to review your unofficial transcript to give you an idea of which (if any) credits it is likely to accept toward a degree in a given major.

These transcripts show the same information.

The main thing to keep in mind is that every college and university in the U.S. decides for itself which credits to accept from non-traditional sources (such as ACE-evaluated training) as well as from other colleges and universities.  That is, the school you decide you want to get your degree from will evaluate the credits shown on your transcript and will decide whether to accept them toward a degree in your chosen major.

How to Get a Transcript

To get a transcript of credits earned through completion of Coast Guard schools, some commercial schools, and advancement courses submit a request for an education assessment to your ESO using the "Application for Transcript" (form CGI-1561). Before you submit this form make sure all courses you’ve taken in the Coast Guard that can be recorded in DirectAccess are in DirectAccess.

Read the instructions at the beginning of each section on the form!!!

This form allows you to do any or all of the following:

  • request an assessment of credits earned through Coast Guard service (selecting this item will get you an unofficial copy of your transcript),

  • update a previous assessment (e.g., when you've been advanced and had requested an assessment previously; you'll also receive an unofficial copy of the resulting transcript),

  • request to have an official copy of your transcript be sent to one or more addresses (usually colleges or universities).

If you request only an assessment or updated assessment, you will receive an unofficial transcript showing course names and the number of credits the American Council on Education has determined you would have earned if you had completed a college course which covered the material that was covered in your Coast Guard training course.  This unofficial transcript is for your information only.

The Institute's staff will only assess courses you took as part of your Coast Guard service, taking this information from DirectAccess and training you've completed which can't be entered into DirectAccess.  (You'll need to provide completion certificates or the like as proof you completed training in this latter category.)

Colleges/universities will not accept an unofficial transcript as proof of credits you've earned while in the Coast Guard.  For that you'll need to have an official transcript sent to the colleges/universities you're interested in.  To have this done, you must also complete section 4 (and section 8, if you want transcripts sent to multiple institutions) on this form.

Be aware that just because you have a lot of courses and credits listed on your transcripts colleges and universities aren't required to accept those courses and credits toward their degree programs.  Every institution of higher learning in the country determines for itself which courses and credits it will accept toward its degree programs.

To get a transcript of DoD service (if you served in one of the DoD services) you'll need to contact your previous service directly to get a SMART transcript (USN and USMC), AARTS transcript (USA), or CCAF transcript (USAF) sent to colleges/universities.


All first-time tuition assistance users who are pursuing an undergraduate degree must have requested an assessment from the Coast Guard Institute within the previous four years.


Degree Plans

The transcript you will receive is not a degree plan.

Degree plans list all courses

  • needed to complete your desired degree,

  • the school will consider completed (based on credit transferred from elsewhere), and

  • you still need to earn your degree.

By knowing which courses you have to take and which you've already completed, you know which you still have to pass and, therefore, how far you are from earning your degree.  Comparing the degree plans you receive will help you determine which school is the best fit for you.

In mid-December 2009, the Coast Guard Institute stopped providing degree plans.  As a result, you no longer have to provide copies of transcripts from colleges/universities you've previously attended.

Assuming you've arranged it ahead of time, counselors at schools which interest you may create degree plans from your Coast Guard transcript and any college/university and/or DoD service transcripts you also had sent to them. 


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Last Modified 1/12/2016
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