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Ivy to Ivy Transfer?

mooseyellowmooseyellow 43 replies6 postsRegistered User Junior Member
Hello everyone!

Currently, I'm a freshman at Penn. I love being in Philly and the opportunities that I have, but I'm not really happy here. Here's why:
-I'm someone who is a bit more introverted, and Penn's "social ivy" culture is not my thing.
-I don't like that students often live off campus for two/three years.
-The academics are not what I expected. This sounds really really arrogant, but I wanted to be academically mediocre in college and feel challenged. That hasn't happened yet for me. With minimal effort, I was consistently in the top 5-10% of my classes this semester. I'm sure that if I stayed at Penn, I would feel challenged, but I would prefer a school that's focused on academics rather than pre-professionalism.
-Penn's Econ department, which is now my intended major, doesn't match my current interests. They have very little behavioral economics or political economy. I originally applied as Polisci but realized I wanted something more problem-set based (rather than readings based).
-There are very few clubs that match my interests. I'm not super interested in pre-professional clubs, but that seems to be everything that Penn offers.
(tl;dr: pre-professionalism, social ivy culture, econ department doesn't match my interests super closely)

I'm thinking about transferring to another school, and Columbia seems like it addresses my issues. The problem with this plan is that I already applied to Columbia as a senior in high school and got deferred then rejected. In retrospect, I probably got rejected because Columbia rarely takes students from my city (except for the magnet school), my "Why Columbia" essay was weak, and I dropped a class mid-senior year. Also, I really want to study abroad and I'm not sure if I could do that as a transfer.

Current Profile
-Academics: 1600 on SAT, HS Val, 4.0 first semester of college
-ECs: Currently have a job, involved in a few clubs on campus but no leadership yet, starting a club next semester; in HS, I had multiple political internships, pres of 2 clubs, varsity athlete, founded voter registration drives, etc.

My questions are:
-Would I actually have a chance? I'd apply as an Economics-Political Science major.
-Should I try to transfer or should I stick it out at Penn?
6 replies
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Replies to: Ivy to Ivy Transfer?

  • mooseyellowmooseyellow 43 replies6 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Also followup question: if not Columbia, what other schools would you recommend?
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  • sgopal2sgopal2 3391 replies49 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Yes you most certainly have a chance. You should also add some other schools with strong Econ to your list: UChicago, Harvard, NYU, MIT, Carnegie Mellon. Transfer acceptance rates are typically lower than for freshman RD.
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  • merc81merc81 10163 replies151 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited December 2018
    These analyses will offer you an idea as to which schools to research further with respect to strength in economics:

    https://ideas.repec.org/top/top.usecondept.html

    https://ideas.repec.org/top/top.uslacecon.html

    From much of what you've written, it seems as if you might be most suited to a liberal arts college such as Williams or Vassar.
    edited December 2018
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  • transferguy2019transferguy2019 71 replies9 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    You have a far above-average chance by my estimation. If you don't get it then I'm not sure what Columbia is looking for in a transfer applicant.
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  • exlibris97exlibris97 1032 replies7 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    @transferguy2019 Not to be facetious, but what Columbia probably isn't looking for is a transfer from another Ivy League institution. They will want very compelling academic reasons for the transfer, i.e., that you are seeking admission to a program not offered at your current university.
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  • cncincolorcncincolor 48 replies0 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    I transferred from Dartmouth to Columbia and am so happy!! Definitely worth applying! I think as long as your personal statement is clear about what you don't like about Penn and why Columbia would be a better fit, you have a good chance. Good luck!
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