Chance me for Fall '23 - Berkeley (Haas) and UPenn (Wharton)

Schools: Two schools: Haas at Berkeley (I have enough college credits from high school to transfer this year while fully meeting course requirements), and Wharton at UPenn. If I don’t get into either, I will re-apply to significantly more schools next year, as a sophomore.

Demographics: Male, Freshman at California community college, no hooks.

Intended Major(s): Business Administration.

ACT/SAT/SAT II: 34 on the ACT in high school.

UW/W GPA and Rank: 4.0 for UPenn, ~3.8 for UC. 3.8+ unweighted in high school.

Note: the UC system recognizes college courses taken in high school as part of my “college GPA,” so my UC GPA is in between 3.8 and 3.9. Second note: I was homeschooled from 10th - 12th grade.

Coursework: I’m currently taking the typical major/GE courses. In high school, I took a lot of AP’s and college coursework, including all math courses that are lower-division before graduating (I could technically transfer as a math major; I might go for a double-major in math).

Awards: None.

Extracurriculars (college only):

President of Economics Club. Joined last semester when the club was kind of dead; I will be making significant, meaningful changes to the club in order to revitalize it and increase the membership.

Wealth Management Internship at a bulge bracket (you’ve definitely heard of the company). I’m currently doing it part-time. There was a <1% acceptance rate for the position. I cold-called them and was unconnected (i.e didn’t know anyone who worked there).

Investing. Last year, I outperformed the market on a risk-adjusted basis (i.e achieved positive alpha). My current YTD performance sounds more impressive than my risk-adjusted performance last year, so I think I’ll put the YTD number for the application. I spend a significant amount of time on this activity; asset management is a career I am seriously considering for the future.

Investment newsletter. I have gathered a small following; I mainly view the newsletter as a writing outlet and a way to share my research with the public.

(continued from high school) Online business that did low five-figures in revenue. I discontinued it last semester due to chronic unprofitability. It is essentially a failed venture that taught valuable lessons about business.

Essays/LORs/Other: This section is always impossible to judge.

Why only Wharton or Haas? Why wait another year for other schools? Depending on how much transfers you might be adding a 5th year if you wait until after sophomore year. Spending 3 years vs 2 at a top business school sounds more appealing.

If you like math you might consider Industrial Engineering. They typically offer a financial track.

Thank you for the reply! I am only applying to Wharton and Haas because I intend to re-apply to Haas next year if I am not accepted this year; Wharton is the only school I would attend over Haas, so it would not make sense to apply to any other schools for this cycle.

Also, thanks for including the IEOR link—it looks pretty interesting. If I get into Berkeley, it is something I will consider applying for. I do have an itch for studying more quantitative material as a supplement to business curriculum.

Do you have any thoughts as to my chances? I am looking for a reality check. I need to know if I am being delusional for thinking I have a decent shot at Haas. Unfortunately, I have been unable to find good sources on admissions practices and statistics for external Wharton transfers (I am just assuming that it is very difficult). Thanks, again, for replying.

I don’t really have any insight on transfer stats other than I’m sure it’s difficult. Maybe @Gumbymom has more insight. I think she’s quite knowledgeable about all things UC related.

Hopefully it’s a moot point and you get into Wharton or Haas but what if you don’t get into Haas this year? What would you do to improve your chances for admission to Haas the next year? What if you don’t get in after a 2nd try? Transferring to a top business school after sophomore year seems even more difficult. Also, you could be adding another year depending on what transfers and where you fall in the sequence of classes. Good luck.

This is a good place to start: Transferring to the Wharton School

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Here is the most recent HAAS student profile and the UC Transfer GPA by major and campus:

UCB Business Admin admit GPA range was 3.86-4.00 for 2022 with a 5% admit rate based on the above link.

If you are unable to get into your 2 target schools, do you plan to stay at your current CC and then reapply next year? What is your backup plan?

Thanks for sharing.

OP - this is what I suspected. Wharton only takes freshman transfers. I suspect many top business schools are similar. Only spending two years at a Wharton or Stern wouldn’t make much sense. You might want to reconsider your strategy and move-up your timelines to this year. Good luck.

Thank you for the reply. I have already reviewed all Penn-original pages on Wharton admission. Unfortunately, Penn’s CDS does not enumerate the number of transfer students per college, and only outlines the aggregate quantity. I have only found one account of an external Wharton transfer, which is on YouTube, and was hoping to hear from other external Wharton transfer students who might be able to offer insight into their experience. I’m sure other prospective external Wharton transfers would find such information useful, as well.

Thank you for the reply. I am aware that Wharton only takes transfers who enter the school as a sophomore, making this my only chance to apply. Haas, on the other hand, is a bit unique in the sense that they only take transfer students who will have junior standing at the time of entry. My college credits from high school allow me to meet this requirement currently, giving me, in effect, two chances at applying. I do not intend to apply to Stern; I personally do not find it worth the cost ($$$).

Thank you for the reply. Just for clarification: the Haas acceptance rate for eligible external transfer students (i.e students who fulfill all course requirements) is 15%. This is selective, but not as extreme as 5%. If I do not get into Wharton or Haas this year, I will re-apply to Haas next year, in addition to a basket of other schools I believe will meet my academic and post-college goals (e.g Columbia, Northwestern, UCLA, etc.). I will also TAG to UCSB, which will be my safety school in the scenario that I am rejected from all of my preferred schools. That is my current backup plan; I have no issue with staying at CC for another year if it means I get another chance at attending the school I really want to attend (Haas).

You are correct that for all external transfers the admit rate was 15% but for CA CC to UC transfers it was 5% according to the Transfer by GPA link.

I was just using Stern as an example but I’m a little surprised at your reply. Wharton is worth the $ but Stern isn’t? Wharton is Wharton but Stern is close to being a peer school for business. You also have other schools like Northwestern on your list. They don’t have an undergraduate business program.

Also, you have two chances to apply to Haas. Not sure that helps you. At least with other top schools the consensus opinion is that you don’t reapply to schools that turned you down unless you do something phenomenal in-between. If you don’t get Haas this year, why would they take you next year?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think they are including the applicants who are not eligible, which artificially deflates the acceptance rate. On the Haas website, the acceptance rate is 5% when including all applicants (ineligible ones), while the acceptance rate is 15% when including only eligible ones. Nearly all, if not all, external Haas admits are California community college students.

Yes, if you take the total applicants (including the ineligible applicants) then it is 5%. 15% with eligible applicants. I agree the majority of transfers are from CA CC’s.

Yes, the Haas website states they “rarely” take students from four-year universities. The only reason I am at CC instead of UCSB, which I was admitted to as a freshman, is because it’s effectively impossible to transfer from a four-year to Haas.

There are a lot of parents on CC (myself included). You might have better luck getting student answers on that site that rhymes with edit.

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Thank you for the reply. Lol! I already posted on the website which rhymes with “credit” and got a couple answers, but nothing too informative. It’s unfortunate that there is a lack of documented experiences from successful external Wharton transfers.

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