Chances for transferring to Amherst, Brown and Cornell?

I’m a rising sophomore at a small liberal arts college (Wooster) looking to transfer to a more prestigious school. I have a 4.0 GPA, a merit scholarship, 1450 SAT, and decent club stuff (I have positions in 2 clubs at my college). However, I have a really ■■■■■■ high school transcript (low 30s for IB). Now that my grades are better, I want to transfer to either a good liberal arts college (Amherst, Williams, Pomona) – or an Ivy (Brown or Cornell). Also looking at UC Berkeley. Anyone got an idea of what my chances are? How much do these schools care about high school transcripts? I did bad in high school cause I was depressed but I’ve recovered and have a 4.0 now, will they consider that? Also looking for suggestions if anyone thinks I should transfer somewhere else.

I am no admissions officer but here are my guesses:

  1. If they ask for high school transcripts they will probably read and evaluate them. They will likely review your application holistically. The weighting they will give any particular component is probably not cast in stone; it probably depends on how much it contributes to their overall picture of you as an applicant.

Your college success may count more, on the one hand. But on the other hand you are attending a college consisting of weaker students than theirs are, so other factors will likely not be ignored. They want to be convinced that the applicant will succeed at, thrive, and contribute to, their harder school.

  1. By the numbers, given that they are so much smaller. the top LACs have very few spots available for transfer applicants.

Prestige and rankings are two of the biggest myths in the college world. To transfer schools on that premise would be doing yourself a big disservice. Before you spend money and lose credits looking for a brand name, find out first what you want out of college in the first place. Have you decided on a major, or what marketable skills you want to gain from college? That would be a far better focus to have. You’ll find that dreams and ambitions far supersede what school you go to.

  1. Can you afford these schools?
  2. To @coolguy40’s point, what, besides a more glamorous name, do you want from your college experience in terms of preparing for life after college? What, besides the sports league their teams play in, do Cornell and Brown have in common that makes them your favorites?