Just How Difficult Is Transferring Colleges?

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So you finish college application season and end up not getting into your dream school. Or maybe you are halfway through your freshman year and find out that you are not enjoying your college experience? Whether you’re in a big university, a liberal arts college, or a community college, transferring to a more ideal school may be your best choice!

Why transfer?

The first thing you have to do is figure out what you value in a college and consider where your current college fails to meet your expectations. Maybe it’s the school culture or a stronger academic program that you wish to pursue. The college experience is extremely important because it is a formative experience that may shape your perspective and person, so if you have irreconcilable differences with your current school it may be a good decision for you to transfer. 

What matters in your transfer application?

Second, you have to start a new college application – one very similar to your first college application. But this time, the most crucial factor is your college GPA. So if you plan to transfer early, make sure that you work hard to earn a high GPA!

Another determining factor would be your professional experience: have you done any internships or research at your current college? Have you started a new club or had some important leadership role? Find something that makes you stand out as an accomplished and competent individual.

Most colleges also ask for a recommendation letter from one of your current professors. So if you are at a big university that has sizable lectures, make sure you always make an effort to reach out to your professors with questions and insights about the course material. Most professors appreciate their students’ efforts to attend office hours, and your presence gives them an opportunity to get to know your personality and talents better.

The last thing you have to provide is your SAT scores and high school GPA. Certainly SAT is not as big of a deciding factor, but it still matters if you aim for really selective schools. If you are taking it again, there is no reason to worry too much. Your writing and reading skills normally improve significantly throughout college and you will most likely get a higher score.

Do Your Research

Research the schools you would like to apply to. Once you have a list of schools that fit all of your criteria, specifically what your current school failed to provide, you should do more research about the transfer requirements for each school you are interested in.

Depending on the school, it might be easier or harder to be accepted as a transfer student versus freshmen admission. For instance, in Fall 2016, UCLA accepted 30% of their transfer applicants for their College of Letters & Science

Additionally, make sure that most, if not all, of your current college credit transfers. Take a look at the desired college’s official website and see what credits are accepted. Last, remember to focus on the positives when you are asked why you decided to transfer. It is extremely important for you to avoid saying about anything negative about your current school, instead, focus on the positive reasons that drove you to apply this new school you hope to attend!

Good luck on your path to your dream school!

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