Chance Me Transfer Student Class of 2024 (Brown, UChicago, UT Austin, USC, Dartmouth, ect.)

Hi All! I’ve been told many times not to do this, but I’m stressed and would love opinions! After applying to 12 schools last year, I was admitted to 4, and they weren’t schools I like. I am at a mid-level Liberal Arts college and making the best of it, but I am looking to transfer! I would love to be chanced if possible!

HS GPA: 3.2, I was an undiagnosed bipolar in high school, and once I got on medication, my grades went up significantly. It’s also worth noting I went to a top 5 high school that most colleges will be aware of the rigor of.

College GPA: 3.9 (Probably going to be a 3.95 by the end of the year)

ACT Score: 33 (Retaking next month and fully on track to get a 35/36)

Total Classes: 14 (4.5 Fall, 3 Winter, 5.5 Spring, 1 noncredit) My school does 1 credit per class, and I’ve been made aware by my counselor that at most schools, they will transfer for 3.

Recommendations: My recommendations will be stellar. Both professors love me, and I will most likely be getting an additional recommendation from my high school counselor, who is very well-liked amongst top colleges’ admissions counselors.


  • Mock Trial (7 years, won several awards, captain of my high school team, the only freshman on the official roster at my college)
  • Theater (Actor since I was 5, I plan on pursuing a career in Entertainment as a writer and actor.)
  • Part-Time Job Tutoring Children with Learning Disabilities (12/hrs a week. Grades on average improve 2-grade levels)
  • Various Clubs (i.e., School Film Association, Volunteer Based Clubs, Christian Clubs, Sign Language Club)
  • Photography (Won awards)
  • Dance (On and Off for 7 years because while I love it, I have two left feet!)
  • Community Service (About 25 hours each year since elementary school)

Essays: They will be on the high side (At least 9/10 if not 10/10)

Interests: Film, Theater, Creative Writing, Statistics, & Political Science

Demographics: Part Hispanic, Part White, Catholic, LGBTQIA+, From an upper-middle-class family, Female.

Schools in Order of Preference:
1.) Brown (It’s my perfect/dream school due to the open curriculum. As you can see, my interests are rather varied, and the ability to pursue all of them in college is essential to me).
2.) UChicago
3.) UT Austin
4.) USC
5.) Dartmouth
6.) Northwestern
7.) Wash U
8.) Tufts

I would love your advice, and if you have any additional schools, that would be great! Thank you guys so much!

Don’t retake the ACT, colleges will not be compelled by a higher score taken by a college freshman (some schools won’t even accept it).

What major will you be applying for? Fundamentally, you have to explain why the transfer school has what you can’t find at your current school. That can be a difficult point to make well…you can’t complain about the current school, and must focus on what is different about the transfer school.

Even though you have a high college GPA, the schools on your list should be considered reaches for most transfer applicants. Because you are only a freshman they will still take into account your HS record. If you waited until your soph year to transfer, your HS record will be much less important.

Some of the schools on your list don’t take many transfers, look at the common data set for actual numbers. For example, Brown admitted 118 of 2030 applicants in 2019/20 (latest CDS available): Common Data Set | Office of Institutional Research | Brown University

Will you be applying for financial aid? If so, what is your budget?

Edited to add: Did any of the schools on your list deny you admission last year?

Hi! I will be applying for a major in the film/theater region and if the school permits, a double major with Political Science as my second major (at Brown, it’s a concentration). My counselor has had major success with people retaking the ACT. 4 of her 5 transfers who retook the ACT in the last 3 years were admitted to Brown amongst other great schools. The reason I am doing all reaches is because I am willing to do another year at my school and just want to apply to the best right now as I can’t transfer twice. I am not applying for any FA. Also, I’m hoping due to the notoriety and rigor of my high school, the fact that I got even above a 3.0 with Bipolar disorder will be very impressive.

Also, my college has a very limited course catalogue and doesn’t have a film program. As well, as the students are not particularly academically stimulating. My counselor believes that’s a perfect reason to transfer and I can phrase it without complaining.


The only schools I was denied last year from were USC and UT Austin. I must note last year I was dealing with the fall out from my diagnosis and was not invested in the college process at all, thus, my essays and supplements weren’t representative of my abilities.

On this point I should mention, my high school has a long standing history of students transferring to Brown in their sophomore year.

The Brown website has the 2020 transfer results and data here (77/2293 accepted): What Makes a Good Transfer Applicant? | Undergraduate Admission | Brown University

Good luck OP, I hope that you have some good transfer options. Also, great job persevering through last year’s mental health diagnosis, I wish you continued success.


Although the transfer process is especially tough as a first year transfer (and even more so from lesser known colleges), I still think that you have very solid chances at getting into several of these schools. Statistically, you are hitting each threshold, and for the softer elements of the application, you seem to have a solid understanding and mastery of what represents you as an individual (and perhaps what AOs like to see demonstrated in these sections) which is in my opinion a good indicator of success here.

You also mentioned retaking the ACT as a college freshman.

Well, did you end up retaking the ACT? Was it easier to learn the material/perform on test day as a college student than in a HS student? If you did take it, did you send in your score? Do you think it had an impact?

My philosophy is that retaking the ACT in college demonstrates the same kind of dedication, discipline, and academic improvement associated with the upward GPA trend that AOs love. This makes sense as it aligns with the idea of constant positive progression over time and this being a desirable trait and indicator of potential.

Just as your grades were relatively low in HS, so were your test scores, and through work ethic/some transformation of sorts you were able to improve in both categories. Plus, I don’t see any disadvantage in doing this beside the AOs judging you for choosing to place yourself in a room of stressed out 17 year olds again. However, even this could support your app by highlighting just how dedicated you are to displaying this academic improvement by willingly subjecting yourself to such torment.

I think your application is a good example of what could happen when a strong applicant (with a good perspective) transfers from a lesser-known college. Please keep me updated with what happens!

Best of luck to you!

Hi! Thank you so much for your lovely response! I did retake the ACT (a whole state away) and I found it quite easy but then again I did well the first time; my math score just took all the other scores down (E:35,R:34, S:35, M:28). I should be finding out the scores sometime this week or next and then if they are good I will send them to colleges!

I applied ED transfer to UChicago because I really love the school and since this is the first year of ED for transfers there my counselor thought it would give me a better shot!

Fingers crossed!

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Based partly on your interest in film, look into Wesleyan.