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Best way to transfer in?

My son was accepted into Chapel Hill this coming fall. He is considering going to a local community college and reapplying next year. He is contemplating this to save money. He has looked at all the courses and can find enough to transfer. He would have 57 credits after 1 year of Community College including the courses he took in high school (all appear to transfer. His scores - ( 1450 SAT- near perfect Math) Drum Major, many extra-curricular activities, 4.0 unweighted. He is not first generation or a minority. What can he do during the next year to increase his chances when he reapplies? The transfer in rate looks like about 35% of applicants. Do acceptance chances increase as a Sophomore or a Junior? Thank you
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Replies to: Best way to transfer in?

  • Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone CC Admissions Expert 3184 replies1122 threads CC Admissions Expert
    Your son should send these questions to a UNC Chapel Hill admission official. He can start with his current “regional rep” (the staff member who oversees applicants from his high school) but he may be handed off to a transfer liaison, which is fine. Granted, all UNC admission officers will probably have a hidden agenda ... which is to encourage your son to enroll NOW (because colleges like to protect their “yields” by enrolling as many accepted students as possible). So, to some extent, you should take the reply with a block of salt. But, on the other hand, a Chapel Hill admission officer can provide more school-specific information than I can.

    Explain to this admission official that cost is the factor that is spurring your son to consider a two-year college. He or she may have some thoughts on how to wangle additional scholarship money or how to keep costs down if your son decides to enroll as a freshman (e.g., he could apply to be a Resident Advisor in his sophomore year or take summer classes close to home in order to graduate early).

    Also ask how the major your son plans to pursue will affect his transfer admission odds. At most large public universities, there can be a lot more room for transfers in some majors than in others. So this is a very important question to ask. You can find a lot of information about transferring to UNC on the university website, including these very detailed “pathways” to an anticipated major. https://catalog.unc.edu/admissions/undergraduate/nccc-transfer-pathways/ However, this will not give you any sense of how competitive each major is for transfer applicants.

    Do you live in NC and thus would he be attending an in-state community college? My guess is no or you would have said so, but maybe it’s yes. If your son WILL be at an in-state community college, this will significantly boost his chances of being admitted as a transfer. UNC is committed to enrolling North Carolina community college transfers and even offers a program called “C-STEP” aimed at low- and moderate-income community college students which facilitates the transfer process.

    If, however, your son will NOT attend an NC community college, he will be “competing” with C-STEP students at transfer time. Last year, nearly 45% of transfer students entered via C-STEP. In addition, when admitting transfer applicants from out of state as well as in, many highly selective colleges like UNC will give priority to students from first-generation and/or disadvantaged backgrounds ... those who probably wouldn’t have found their way to Chapel Hill straight from high school as your son did. So even if you don’t feel that your family falls under this heading, if your son does decide to apply as a transfer student, I suggest that he emphasizes in his application that it was cost that led him to turn down his initial offer.

    In addition to adhering to the suggested academic pathways, if your son decides to take the transfer route he should try to make a mark on his community college through participation in campus activities and perhaps via a leadership role in student government. He can choose to continue some of his high school activities or try new ones. In either case, his aim should be to show transfer admission officers that he did more at his two-year school than just go to class.

    Moreover, if UNC did already offer your son some grant money, keep in mind that he might not get the same deal if he enrolls as a transfer, and that could take a bite out of whatever you expect to save if he heads to the two-year school.

    Finally .., here’s yet another option to consider: Your son could defer his enrollment for one year. UNC does allow this.

    See https://admissions.unc.edu/policies-and-reports/deferring-your-enrollment/

    He could live at home and work full time to accumulate money to put toward his four years at UNC. This wouldn’t lower the cost of his UNC education, but it might take off some of the financial pressure when he finally does enroll, and he won’t have to worry about applying as a transfer and possibly not being accepted.

    I realize that this is a tough choice and is probably keeping you up at night. But it sounds like your son has been very successful in his endeavors so far, and I suspect he will continue to be so, wherever he lands in September.

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