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'A Second Freshman Year': Harvard’s Transfer Students

Dave_BerryDave_Berry 492 replies2567 threadsCC Admissions Expert Senior Member
"Though the University has various support systems in place, transfer students say that, often, it is up to them to fully integrate into life at the College." ...

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2018/2/4/transfer-students/
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Replies to: 'A Second Freshman Year': Harvard’s Transfer Students

  • menloparkmommenloparkmom 12466 replies540 threadsRegistered User Senior Member

    a "problem" that affects 12 or so students[ who most would consider to be VERY lucky indeed] is worthy of a separate thread???
    wow 8-|
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  • HannaHanna 14866 replies42 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    This is the Harvard forum. The number of transfer students is higher than the number of Sanskrit majors. Would we criticize someone starting a thread to talk about Sanskrit courses?
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  • menloparkmommenloparkmom 12466 replies540 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited February 2018
    what I am criticizing is the prominent placement of this new thread, which has little relevance to 99.5% of CC readers, but none the less shows up at the top of new threads on the home page of CC, simply because of who started it.

    edited February 2018
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  • jzducoljzducol 734 replies12 threadsRegistered User Member
    Even though its only 0.5% of admits, Harvard transfer probably generates 5% of the topics on CC Harvard forum. It seems every month there is someone asking about how to become a transfer. I think this thread title should be called something like "Stories of successful Harvard transfers..". Not only its more relevant it is going to spark a lot of interest among readers. Who would have known you can transfer from UPenn to Harvard as a Jazz saxophone player.
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  • Studious99Studious99 888 replies23 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited February 2018
    It's interesting that some of the transfers in the article came from UPenn and Georgetown. I can understand why Harvard would accept an athlete transfer or a transfer from West Point, but the reasons listed in the article for the transfers from Georgetown and Penn don't seem all that compelling to me. For example, I wasn't aware that Harvard's jazz music scene was so superior to Penn's that it was deemed a worthy reason to transfer by admissions. I wonder if there is more to the story for those two people.
    edited February 2018
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  • anxiouswreckanxiouswreck 292 replies34 threadsRegistered User Member
    Don't understand why people would be upset about this- I thought it was an interesting read, and I'm not even in college yet.
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  • Penn95Penn95 2283 replies78 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited February 2018
    @Studious99 In my experience, students who successfully transfer from ED ivies to HYPS tend to have connections. I have known a couple of Penn people who transferred to Harvard and Yale not too long ago and they both had connections. Same thing i have heard about a friend of a friend from Columbia who transferred to Yale. It makes sense though. lets be real the only reason anyone would transfer from a place like Penn or Columbia to Harvard or Yale is extra prestige, not extra opportunities. You would need to have connections to make Harvard or Yale use one of their VERY few transfer spots on you rather than one of the many other applicants from lower tier schools who would genuinely benefit from the transfer.
    edited February 2018
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  • winnvanmeterwinnvanmeter 80 replies7 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I read this story as a cautionary tale about finding the right fit before starting school, as transfer students at any college are going to have more hurdles. I also read this as another plug for a liberal arts education over pre-professional programs.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78229 replies690 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited February 2018
    One thing noticeable from that Harvard Crimson article is that Harvard does not seem to emphasize non-traditional students (including those transferring from community colleges) as transfers like Stanford and Princeton do.

    https://news.stanford.edu/2017/11/01/small-mighty-cohort-transfer-students-joins-stanford-community/
    https://www.princeton.edu/news/2017/10/24/princeton-offers-transfer-admission-process-undergraduate-students
    edited February 2018
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  • lastjedilastjedi 5 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Question: If you apply as a transfer student to attend during your junior year and you got rejected to attend as a freshman, will they look at your freshman application when considering your transfer application?
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  • menloparkmommenloparkmom 12466 replies540 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
  • HannaHanna 14866 replies42 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I met all the Harvard transfers every semeste from 1997-2002. I've had successful transfers to Yale, Harvard, or Stanford in my practice almost every year since then.

    It is not about connections. People with connections generally get in as freshmen.

    There are plenty of individual reasons why HYS may serve a student better than Penn, Cornell, Berkeley, etc. If you don't know about the faculty who are leaders in obscure subfields of a discipline, then you don't know what those reasons might be. I have barely heard of some of my clients' specializations before I worked with them. I had a Cornell-to-Harvard transfer 15 years ago whose life's work was Francophone literature. I learned all about it from him.
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  • AGoodFloridianAGoodFloridian 1353 replies19 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @ucbalumnus Wow, I was thinking exactly that while I was reading the article! It seems they generally admit students from similarly to slightly less selective schools. No mention of having any preference towards veterans or other non-traditional students, but I'm sure they would encourage them to apply nonetheless.

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  • JHSJHS 18403 replies72 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited February 2018
    I'm not up to date on current transfer trends at all, but in the past (including the not-so-distant past) a lot of transfers into elite colleges were people coming from other elite colleges. Not all transfers, by any means, but that was definitely one of the themes. In many cases, the transferring student had had been accepted by the new institution out of high school, but had decided to go elsewhere. There used to be any number of transfers among Harvard, Yale, and Stanford. (I think it's only very recently that Princeton started admitting any transfers at all.)

    I don't think it's remotely true anymore, but in the past I believe there was essentially an open door for students who had been accepted at Harvard, but chose to go to Deep Springs, to finish their bachelors degrees at Harvard after their two years at Deep Springs. There used to be 2-3 such students per year. (It's telling now that Harvard does not appear on the list of where Deep Springs AAs "most commonly" complete their undergraduate education. There's a Crimson article from '00 online that talks about the eight Deep Springs alumni who were then juniors or seniors at Harvard College.)
    edited February 2018
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  • blevineblevine 852 replies29 threadsRegistered User Member
    Though this may be in the Harvard forum, it is a universal issue for students at other colleges that take on few transfer students, and to some extent even at colleges many transfer students. My S transferred to Cornell, and while they have lots of transfer students, and some transfer orientation for the first weekend, after that, you are on your own, socially. There are many services available to new students, freshman and transfers alike, but socially there is not much after the first weekend. They do have an academic support office for new students. But for instance, most returning sophs live in a particular set of dorms and few transfers are placed there with their academic/age peers.
    Yes there are more transfers, but it's a big school and they are scattered across many dorms and classrooms.
    It is tough, you don't feel settled in until you are a junior and your already starting to think about life after college.
    Not a Harvard problem at all.
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  • makennacomptonmakennacompton 484 replies15 threadsRegistered User Member
    A related Harvard experience is the "Visiting Undergraduate Student" program, whereby you can apply and go to Harvard for a year. You don't get the Harvard degree, but you do get the ability to put Harvard on your resume. Same access to all of Harvard as any Harvard student, and while Harvard says it won't guarantee Harvard housing, it nearly always does. Worthwhile for the exposure, and you do get a Harvard transcript, so the TShirt is "real."
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  • jzducoljzducol 734 replies12 threadsRegistered User Member
    That's heck of an expensive way to get some T-shirt.
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  • mathfan03mathfan03 3 replies2 threadsRegistered User New Member
    I'm definitely planning on applying to Harvard, and am currently a high-schooler. I was just wondering, what are some of the basic requirements that the admission officers are looking for? Thanks!
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  • Penn95Penn95 2283 replies78 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    There are plenty of individual reasons why HYS may serve a student better than Penn, Cornell, Berkeley, etc. If you don't know about the faculty who are leaders in obscure subfields of a discipline, then you don't know what those reasons might be. I have barely heard of some of my clients' specializations before I worked with them. I had a Cornell-to-Harvard transfer 15 years ago whose life's work was Francophone literature. I learned all about it from him.

    @Hanna
    Penn and Columbia and Cornell have offerings that one cannot find at HYPS undergrad. However I haven't heard of anyone trying to transfer from HYS to those three, yet there are plenty every year trying to transfer the other way around. I dont doubt that there are some genuine cases but I think prestige pays a huge part in this decision for most, and in some cases it is the only consideration.
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