Couple of questions


I’m an HS senior and I’m most likely committing to uMich in the fall studying biochemistry/publichealth.

  1. I will have about 10 usable APs + 3 DEs by the time I graduate. I know that GPA is extremely important, but is it worth retaking the courses I’ve already “taken” as an AP or at CC? For example, I can technically jump straight into upper div chem right now because I took orgo + AP chem, but I’m scared that it will destroy my GPA.

  2. How much do honor programs matter?

  3. For my LORs, can they be from any class? I’m thinking of inviting my profs from Seminar-like classes to write for me instead of from my main intro classes.

  4. I also have the option of attending NYU. From what I’ve discerned, research opportunities are a bit worse at NYU, but it is in NYC, so EC opportunities are gonna be great regardless. Would going to NYU potentially be a better option since it’s private (class size of 14 vs ~25, NYU vs uMich)? Both schools seem, culturally, okay to me and I’ve no complaints going to either.

  5. While I’d like to leave as quickly as I can, I’d also like to know if just one year of perfect college grades will be enough to mask my imperfect academic record in high school (7 Bs, 3.85 uw) for it to not hinder my shot at t10s.

  6. (and lastly!) Does it matter at all if I transfer in the fall or spring?

Thank you so much! :slight_smile:

First, congratulations on 2 great admits!

Not all schools have spring admits and some have only one application for both and the school determines if you’re fall or spring.

If you apply for spring, you’ll barely have one full semester of grades at that point, a real chance to develop a rapport with any professors, or to develop new ECs because apps are due in Nov. A fall 2022 admit would provide a bit more time to work on these.

As a general rule, your HS transcript will be considered more if you’re transferring as a sophomore because of the lack of a college record. You’d have more success minimizing your Bs if you apply as a junior.

Also please be aware that the transfer acceptance rates for T10 schools are the same or worse than their freshman acceptance rates. Not saying you shouldn’t try but I’d also suggest you make an effort to love the school you’re going to attend in the fall because it’s more Iikely that you’ll still be there if it’s T10 or bust.

Your LORs can be from any professors but ideally at least one would be in the subject you’re applying to study at the transfer school.

If you’re interested in biochem you may want to retake general chem and orgo since they’re foundational towards your major. But that’s your choice.

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Thank you! I think my plan currently is to maximize my grades and try to apply for sophomore spring and junior fall while trying to find some unique ECs on campus, attending seminar-style classes wherever possible. Also, about the t10 or bust thing, I’d say that even a Vanderbilt or Washu acceptance is probably worth it for me to make the move (I heard they have higher acceptance rates than undergrad). Making it into Rice, Ivies, or Duke would just be icing on the cake.

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I am slightly confused. If accepted to like Michigan then why are we talking about transferring? Also your GPA is fine. Michigan is a really tough school but so are the others but why go into debt for these degrees. Look at your ROI. If money is no object I still wouldn’t do it. So… Are you local to any of these schools?

Michigan might not accept your APs the way you might be assuming but you need a great foundation to succeed. Sure you can skip a class then fail or get a C in the higher class. Trust me and especially for chemistry. What you learned in high school is not at the college level of these schools. Why not set up a quick meeting with the schools and discuss this? This will give you much better insight. Some times the APs will allow you to take other electives etc.

That is my reaction also. The University of Michigan is a very good university. I do not understand why you would want to transfer anywhere else.

It’s not mentioned directly, but I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you want to go into premed, right? For that, your undergraduate doesn’t matter at all as long as you have top grades and MCAT scores. Please don’t choose a college based on “premed prestige.”

Also, undergraduate research is a big misconception in medical school admission. They don’t look at it, because most undergraduates programs don’t even offer it. Also, medical school is a form of applied science, and research has zero bearing on success in medical school. It’s grades, MCAT scores, and the interview.

You’re in a great school. Paying 75k a year for a higher US News ranking makes literally no sense at all. It’s just a subjective list made up by a bunch of people that call schools “better.” If debt is part of the plan with NYU, then I would recommend running the other way. Medical school is going to cost $300k or more by itself, and you just don’t need that kind of debt for an undergraduate school.

And clinical experience.


Thank you for your advice. I’m actually not too certain what exactly I want to study. However, a big factor in wanting to transfer is opening up the option of becoming a business major. As a freshman, I did not apply to Ross, and cross-campus transfer rates are quite unpredictable at uMich (going from ~50% to 16%). I will be applying for Ross in my freshman year, but if I do not make it in, I’m hoping to get into Vanderbilt or Washu or even Rice (w/ their new business major) as I’ve heard that they’re semi-targets for IB. Another reason is that I’m looking to enter a smaller school. I applied to Michigan pretty much on a whim and I was extremely lucky to be accepted here. The rest of my college list, which I was all rejected from, consisted of LACs and smaller T20 schools. Perhaps the only exception to that was NYU because I also wanted to go to school in a big city