Foreign credentials: The value of sight references

October 7, 2019
  • Credential Evaluation
  • International
  • International Admissions
  • International Admissions and Credential Evaluation
Iranian credential

AACRAO EDGE users have expressed a desire to have more credentials to reference within the database. For many, there is no better way to understand an unfamiliar document than to directly review authentic copies of such credentials. 

We’re working to meet that need. Foreign educational systems issue thousands of credentials, and AACRAO EDGE is publishing examples to help you better understand these systems. 

Over the summer, we added more than 475 unique credentials (with multiple examples for many of those) from more than 50 countries. The vast majority of these credentials are post-secondary in nature, and though we prioritized providing examples of benchmark credentials which many students would have in their portfolios, we worked to include every authentic document we could obtain. Both current and previous versions of documents give insight into an education system, and sometimes even reviewing unfamiliar or unrelated credentials may illuminate specific markers to look for on other credentials. 

Relying on data from the Institute for International Education’s Open Doors, we’ve provided examples of credentials from the highest-sending countries. Though we strive to provide examples of each credential represented within AACRAO EDGE, we will almost always have the most ready access to those benchmark credentials most common along student pathways. 

For many, there is no better way to understand an unfamiliar document than to directly review authentic copies of such credentials.


You can help improve AACRAO EDGE by providing unique, redacted and authentic documents for inclusion in the database. If you have a verified document(s) that is not already comparable to one of our samples, please consider sharing it. Your submission can help other evaluators better understand these credentials by demonstrating the plethora of ways in which diplomas/mark sheets/transcripts display information, as there is not necessarily even one standard template within the same system. As professionals in the field dealing with documents on a daily basis, you are in a position to provide good examples of particular credentials and highlight unique situations. 

If you received documents in an acceptable manner, such as in a sealed envelope directly from the institution or through secure electronic transfer, AACRAO EDGE can consider your documents for inclusion. 

To submit a document:

  • Redact all personally identifiable data, including photographs, names, listed family members, and official (plus any other) ID numbers, such as a seat number or a school ID number.

  • Redact any titled project, such as a thesis, as it would be associated with the learner. 

  • Redact partial birthdates, though you may leave the year for context.

  • Include information regarding how you received and if you verified your documents.

  • Include the country and credential name.

Please email your prepared documents to

As we continue to add more documents to EDGE, we greatly appreciate your assistance. These documents add greater depth to the credential profiles they supplement. Together, we can paint a more complete picture of education systems worldwide.


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