Shadow Grades

How to Share your Shadow Grades

The Registrar's Office and Swarthmore Career Services has much experience helping students apply for scholarships and internships. The following recommendations reflect our combined experience.

How to share your first semester unofficial letter grades:

Keep in mind that by college policy your college transcript for your first semester will only have CR/NC grading -- the transcript will never show your unofficial "shadow" letter grades. Thus to share shadow grades in context, you should share both your college transcript showing CR/NC grades and your unofficial shadow letter grades.

  1. Share a college transcript with the official CR/NC grades
  2. Share your unofficial shadow letter grades and/or evaluations

How to share a college transcript:

There are three kinds of college transcript, Unofficial PDF Transcript, Official PDF transcript, and Official Paper Transcript. Most scholarship or internship opportunities will accept the unofficial pdf variety. The unofficial pdf and either of the official transcripts have the same course and grades content -- and none have shadow grades.

Any of these transcripts can ordered using mySwarthmore "Request Transcript" procedure, with no charge. In mySwarthmore, go to Student Main Menu, Student Records, Transcript Request.

The unofficial pdf transcript goes to you via email, after which you can forward or upload it elsewhere  The official paper transcript can be retrieved at the registrar's office, or mailed by the registrar's office elsewhere. The official pdf transcript goes via secure server to a recipient. The mySwarthmore online request process collects all the needed information to fulfill your request.

How to share your shadow grades and/or narrative evaluations:

You share your shadow grades yourself.

There is a "Shadow Grades" listing on mySwarthmore. Separately, you have your email evaluations including the narrative evaluation.

Most scholarship or internship opportunities will be satisfied with just the mySwarthmore "Shadow Grades" listing (and do not need the emails). In mySwarthmore, go to Student Main Menu, Student Records, Shadow Grades.

Print the Shadow Grades page (or save as a pdf) and share it -- from you to the recipient.

Importantly, the mySwarthmore "Shadow Grades" page includes the college policy, so it both explains the reason shadow grades are not on your college transcript, and is an official expression of college policy, making it the closest thing available to an official list of your shadow grades.

Alternately, you could print or forward your shadow grade evaluation emails, which include the narrative evaluations, if you want to share those.

How calculate a GPA:

The registrar has a GPA policy web page including a GPA calculator. After your first semester and before your second semester grades are available, you can use your shadow grades in the GPA calculator to calculate a GPA. You should be prepared to explain that you used the unofficial shadow grades.

Normally once you have official letter grades (after your first year) including your shadow grades in a GPA calculation is a questionable practice and you should be prepared to explain that you used the unofficial shadow grades if you do so.

If you have any questions about shadow grades, please feel welcome to ask Registrar Martin Warner.