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Three Strikes and You're NOT Out: Tips from a Student Who Transferred TWICE

Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone CC Admissions Expert 3198 replies1122 threads CC Admissions Expert
A couple decades ago, when I co-authored The Transfer Student’s Guide to Changing Colleges, I discovered that admission officials and professors love transfers, often finding them to be among the most enthusiastic and focused students on campus. This, of course, is no surprise because transfer applicants usually have a stronger sense of their needs and goals than high school seniors do and can learn from an initial college-choice mistake.

But not every transfer student gets it right, although many who consider a second transfer will worry that this might impede their long-range plans or at least look bad to admission committees. And indeed, the admission folks are wary of “serial transfers” and so they do scrutinize applications extra carefully when they realize that a transfer candidate has already made a move before.

Kara Tippins is a two-time transfer (from Kenyon to Vanderbilt and now Georgetown) who recently shared her story with the Huffington Post. In “The Top Ten Takeaways from a Two-Time Transfer,” she describes her journey from a small-town liberal arts college in Ohio to a university in the nation’s capital. She also offers a summary of the lessons she learned along the way to her third college. See https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-top-ten-takeaways-from-a-two-time-transfer_us_59ed3aa1e4b034105edd4fed?ncid=engmodushpmg00000003
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Replies to: Three Strikes and You're NOT Out: Tips from a Student Who Transferred TWICE

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 83893 replies744 threads Senior Member
    Students transferring more than once are not that unusual.

    Not all students transfer because the initial or college was a mistake. Not all students who transfer a second time because the second college was a mistake.
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  • thetransfercoachthetransfercoach 185 replies3 threads Junior Member
    Wonderful article! Although many colleges do raise their eyebrows at applicants who have transferred multiple times, I've found that it's all about the story that the applicant presents -- were there good reasons for transferring, how much time was there between the transfers, etc.

    I think it's also important to note that students who successfully do this mostly likely have excellent academic credentials. A sub-3.0 student from Kenyon most likely is not going to be able to transfer to Vanderbilt and then Georgetown :-)


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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 83893 replies744 threads Senior Member
    Not all twice transferred students are top end students. It obviously depends on the selectivity of the schools transferred to.
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  • TransferStalkerTransferStalker 488 replies0 threads Member
    "...she describes her journey from a small-town liberal arts college in Ohio..."

    Lol are we going to pretend like Kenyon isn't a top liberal arts college?
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  • Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone CC Admissions Expert 3198 replies1122 threads CC Admissions Expert
    @TransferStalker -No one said that Kenyon isn't a top school. But if you read the article cited, you'll see that its author felt that Kenyon was too rural for her (and also didn't have her major). So transferring to a more urban environment was a priority.
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  • homerdoghomerdog 8429 replies119 threads Senior Member
    Kenyon is such a wonderful place and very specific in nature - so rural and a bubble of an environment. There's no way to miss that if you visit. Weird that the student wouldn't know that before enrolling. The lesson here is to NOT ED if you aren't 100 percent sure. Too many kids are going ED because they think they get a bump in admissions. ED is only for schools you absolutely know are your first choice. I've heard advice to stay overnight before ever doing ED.
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